Planet GNU

Aggregation of development blogs from the GNU Project

September 15, 2021

unifont @ Savannah

Unifont 14.0.01 Released

14 September 2021 Unifont 14.0.01 is now available.  This adds glyphs for all new ranges in Unicode 14.0.0 Plane 0 and Plane 1.  See http://unifoundry.com/unifont/ for further details.

Download this release from GNU server mirrors at:

     https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/unifont/unifont-14.0.01/

or if that fails,

     https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/unifont/unifont-14.0.01/

or, as a last resort,

     ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/unifont/unifont-14.0.01/

These files are also available on the unifoundry.com website:

     https://unifoundry.com/pub/unifont/unifont-14.0.01/

Font files are in the subdirectory

     https://unifoundry.com/pub/unifont/unifont-14.0.01/font-builds/

15 September, 2021 02:50AM by Paul Hardy

September 11, 2021

bison @ Savannah

Bison 3.8.1 released

I'm very pleased to announce the release of Bison 3.8(.1), whose main
novelty is the D backend for deterministic parsers, contributed by
Adela Vais.  It supports all the bells and whistles of Bison's other
deterministic parsers, which include: pull/push interfaces, verbose
and custom error messages, lookahead correction, LALR(1), IELR(1),
canonical LR(1), token constructors, internationalization, locations,
printers, token and symbol prefixes, and more.

There are several other notable changes.  Please see the detailed NEWS
below for more details.

Cheers!

==================================================================

Here are the compressed sources:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.8.1.tar.gz   (6.1MB)
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.8.1.tar.lz   (3.1MB)
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.8.1.tar.xz   (3.1MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.8.1.tar.gz.sig
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.8.1.tar.lz.sig
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.8.1.tar.xz.sig

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
  https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:

79e97c868475c0e20286d62021f2a7cfd20610f7  bison-3.8.1.tar.gz
zjGKRxlhVft8JpErUTEC89DhR1fC5JXjRgh1e2EznFw  bison-3.8.1.tar.gz
e7fe4142c22ac5353ec4416652a56e9da951ffa5  bison-3.8.1.tar.lz
AJ2nWoBj4aO9IVRrN+UkISBWiR/CySr6EanzlphoIbg  bison-3.8.1.tar.lz
9772ea3130d6cbddaefe29a659698775a5701394  bison-3.8.1.tar.xz
MfxgJIiq1r3s8MzFVuD8cvxXzcWVz5I5jwIODPSYDxU  bison-3.8.1.tar.xz

The SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the
hexadecimal encoding that most checksum tools default to.

[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
.sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify bison-3.8.1.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 0DDCAA3278D5264E

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.71
  Automake 1.16b
  Flex 2.6.4
  Gettext 0.20.1.153-6c39c
  Gnulib v0.1-4853-g964ce0a92

==================================================================

GNU Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that converts an annotated
context-free grammar into a deterministic LR or generalized LR (GLR) parser
employing LALR(1) parser tables.  Bison can also generate IELR(1) or
canonical LR(1) parser tables.  Once you are proficient with Bison, you can
use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in
simple desk calculators to complex programming languages.

Bison is upward compatible with Yacc: all properly-written Yacc grammars
work with Bison with no change.  Anyone familiar with Yacc should be able to
use Bison with little trouble.  You need to be fluent in C, C++, D or Java
programming in order to use Bison.

Bison and the parsers it generates are portable, they do not require any
specific compilers.

GNU Bison's home page is https://gnu.org/software/bison/.

==================================================================

NEWS

* Noteworthy changes in release 3.8.1 (2021-09-11) [stable]

  The generation of prototypes for yylex and yyerror in Yacc mode is
  breaking existing grammar files.  To avoid breaking too many grammars, the
  prototypes are now generated when `-y/--yacc` is used *and* the
  `POSIXLY_CORRECT` environment variable is defined.

  Avoid using `-y`/`--yacc` simply to comply with Yacc's file name
  conventions, rather, use `-o y.tab.c`.  Autoconf's AC_PROG_YACC macro uses
  `-y`.  Avoid it if possible, for instance by using gnulib's gl_PROG_BISON.


* Noteworthy changes in release 3.8 (2021-09-07) [stable]

** Backward incompatible changes

  In conformance with the recommendations of the Graphviz team
  (https://marc.info/?l=graphviz-devel&m=129418103126092), `-g`/`--graph`
  now generates a *.gv file by default, instead of *.dot.  A transition
  started in Bison 3.4.

  To comply with the latest POSIX standard, in Yacc compatibility mode
  (options `-y`/`--yacc`) Bison now generates prototypes for yyerror and
  yylex.  In some situations, this is breaking compatibility: if the user
  has already declared these functions but with some differences (e.g., to
  declare them as static, or to use specific attributes), the generated
  parser will fail to compile.  To disable these prototypes, #define yyerror
  (to `yyerror`), and likewise for yylex.

** Deprecated features

  Support for the YYPRINT macro is removed. It worked only with yacc.c and
  only for tokens.  It was obsoleted by %printer, introduced in Bison 1.50
  (November 2002).

  It has always been recommended to prefer `%define api.value.type foo` to
  `#define YYSTYPE foo`.  The latter is supported in C for compatibility
  with Yacc, but not in C++.  Warnings are now issued if `#define YYSTYPE`
  is used in C++, and eventually support will be removed.

  In C++ code, prefer value_type to semantic_type to denote the semantic
  value type, which is specified by the `api.value.type` %define variable.

** New features

*** A skeleton for the D programming language

  The "lalr1.d" skeleton is now officially part of Bison.

  It was originally contributed by Oliver Mangold, based on Paolo Bonzini's
  lalr1.java, and was improved by H. S. Teoh.  Adela Vais then took over
  maintenance and invested a lot of efforts to complete, test and document
  it.

  It now supports all the bells and whistles of the other deterministic
  parsers, which include: pull/push interfaces, verbose and custom error
  messages, lookahead correction, token constructors, internationalization,
  locations, printers, token and symbol prefixes, etc.

  Two examples demonstrate the D parsers: a basic one (examples/d/simple),
  and an advanced one (examples/d/calc).

*** Option -H, --header and directive %header

  The option `-H`/`--header` supersedes the option `--defines`, and the
  directive %header supersedes %defines.  Both `--defines` and `%defines`
  are, of course, maintained for backward compatibility.

*** Option --html

  Since version 2.4 Bison can be used to generate HTML reports.  However it
  was a two-step process: first bison must be invoked with option `--xml`,
  and then xsltproc must be run to the convert the XML reports into HTML.

  The new option `--html` combines these steps.  The xsltproc program must
  be available.

*** A C++ native GLR parser

  A new version of the C++ GLR parser was added: "glr2.cc".  It generates
  "true C++11", instead of a C++ wrapper around a C parser as does the
  existing "glr.cc" parser.  As a first significant consequence, it supports
  `%define api.value.type variant`, contrary to glr.cc.

  It should be upward compatible in terms of interface, feature and
  performance to "glr.cc". To try it out, simply use

  %skeleton "glr2.cc"

  It will eventually replace "glr.cc".  However we need user feedback on
  this skeleton.  _Please_ report your results and comments about it.

*** Counterexamples

  Counterexamples now show the rule numbers, and always show ε for rules
  with an empty right-hand side.  For instance

    exp
    ↳ 1: e1       e2     "a"
         ↳ 3: ε • ↳ 1: ε

  instead of

    exp
    ↳ e1  e2  "a"
      ↳ • ↳ ε

*** Lookahead correction in Java

  The Java skeleton (lalr1.java) now supports LAC, via the `parse.lac`
  %define variable.

*** Abort parsing for memory exhaustion (C)

  User actions may now use `YYNOMEM` (similar to `YYACCEPT` and `YYABORT`)
  to abort the current parse with memory exhaustion.

*** Printing locations in debug traces (C)

  The `YYLOCATION_PRINT(File, Loc)` macro prints a location.  It is defined
  when (i) locations are enabled, (ii) the default type for locations is
  used, (iii) debug traces are enabled, and (iv) `YYLOCATION_PRINT` is not
  already defined.

  Users may define `YYLOCATION_PRINT` to cover other cases.

*** GLR traces

  There were no debug traces for deferred calls to user actions.  They are
  logged now.

11 September, 2021 05:09PM by Akim Demaille

September 07, 2021

GNU Anastasis

GNU Anastasis v0.1.0 released

GNU Anastasis is a Free Software protocol and implementation that allows users to securely deposit core secrets with an open set of escrow providers and to recover these secrets if their original copies are lost.

07 September, 2021 10:00PM

September 05, 2021

Applied Pokology

Array boundaries and closures in Poke

Poke arrays are rather peculiar. One of their seemingly bizarre characteristics is the fact that the expressions calculating their boundaries (when they are bounded) evaluate in their own lexical environment, which is captured. In other words: the expressions denoting the boundaries of Poke arrays conform closures. Also, the way they evaluate may be surprising. This is no capricious.

05 September, 2021 10:05PM

September 03, 2021

gzip @ Savannah

gzip-1.11 released [stable]

This is to announce gzip-1.11, a stable release.

There have been 43 commits by 5 people in the 2.7(!) years since 1.10.

See the NEWS below for a brief summary.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
The following people contributed changes to this release:

  Bjarni Ingi Gislason (1)
  Dmitry V. Levin (1)
  Ilya Leoshkevich (8)
  Jim Meyering (20)
  Paul Eggert (13)

Jim [on behalf of the gzip maintainers]
==================================================================

Here is the GNU gzip home page:
    http://gnu.org/s/gzip/

For a summary of changes and contributors, see:
  http://git.sv.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=gzip.git;a=shortlog;h=v1.11
or run this command from a git-cloned gzip directory:
  git shortlog v1.10..v1.11

To summarize the 2581 gnulib-related changes, run these commands
from a git-cloned gzip directory:
  git checkout v1.11
  git submodule summary v1.10

==================================================================
Here are the compressed sources:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/gzip-1.11.tar.gz   (1.2MB)
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/gzip-1.11.tar.xz   (788KB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/gzip-1.11.tar.gz.sig
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/gzip-1.11.tar.xz.sig

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
  https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

Here are SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:
  ee2d3f44d8b370db7090b4c3250132cd62b38ec6  gzip-1.11.tar.gz
  PooODEW60wCTQdzhfXFTbExlXZMTA5AhznVUomzVDtk  gzip-1.11.tar.gz
  adf4964893a45a211a888f8943c939f2794d86d4  gzip-1.11.tar.xz
  m5qV1o/cuTaEmk1vrai/hobN31i5smycQontDJKneQc  gzip-1.11.tar.xz

The SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the
hexadecimal encoding that most checksum tools default to.

[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
.sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify gzip-1.11.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.71
  Automake 1.16d
  Gnulib v0.1-4886-g93280a4bd

NEWS

* Noteworthy changes in release 1.11 (2021-09-03) [stable]

** Performance improvements

  IBM Z platforms now support hardware-accelerated deflation.

03 September, 2021 03:00PM by Jim Meyering

September 02, 2021

FSF News

FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator

02 September, 2021 08:19PM

gdbm @ Savannah

Version 1.21

Version 1.21 is available for download.  This version introduces an important new feature: Crash tolerance, brought to gdbm by Terence Kelly.

02 September, 2021 02:28PM by Sergey Poznyakoff

September 01, 2021

FSF Blogs

August GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 13 new GNU releases!

13 new GNU releases in the last month (as of August 29, 2021):

01 September, 2021 04:47PM

August 30, 2021

August 23, 2021

GNU Taler news

GNU Taler v0.8 released

We are happy to announce the release of GNU Taler v0.8.

23 August, 2021 10:00PM

August 22, 2021

health @ Savannah

MyGNUHealth maintenance release 1.0.4 is out!

Dear community

I am pleased to announce the maintanance release 1.0.4 from MyGNUHealth, the GNUHealth Personal Health Record.

It fixes plotting issues when matplotlib uses unsorted records or dup batch inputs.

You can see the Changelog at GNU Savannah mercurial server.

The package is at GNU.org, the Python Package Index (PyPi) and different GNU/Linux distributions.

Happy and healthy hacking!
Luis

--
Dr. Luis Falcon, MD, MSc
President, GNU Solidario
Advancing Social Medicine
http://www.gnuhealth.org

22 August, 2021 09:41PM by Luis Falcon

parallel @ Savannah

GNU Parallel 20210822 ('Kabul') released

GNU Parallel 20210822 ('Kabul') has been released. It is available for download at: lbry://@GnuParallel:4

Quote of the month:

  Safe to say, @GnuParallel was a life changer during my PhD! It helped
  me optimise so many of my tasks and analyses.
    -- Parice Brandies @PariceBrandies@twitter

New in this release:

  • --ctag/--ctagstring colors the tag in different colors for each job.
  • You can use unit prefixes (k, m, g, etc) with -n -N -L.
  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

News about GNU Parallel:

Get the book: GNU Parallel 2018 http://www.lulu.com/shop/ole-tange/gnu-parallel-2018/paperback/product-23558902.html

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

If you like GNU Parallel record a video testimonial: Say who you are, what you use GNU Parallel for, how it helps you, and what you like most about it. Include a command that uses GNU Parallel if you feel like it.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

For example you can run this to convert all jpeg files into png and gif files and have a progress bar:

  parallel --bar convert {1} {1.}.{2} ::: *.jpg ::: png gif

Or you can generate big, medium, and small thumbnails of all jpeg files in sub dirs:

  find . -name '*.jpg' |
    parallel convert -geometry {2} {1} {1//}/thumb{2}_{1/} :::: - ::: 50 100 200

You can find more about GNU Parallel at: http://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with:

    $ (wget -O - pi.dk/3 || lynx -source pi.dk/3 || curl pi.dk/3/ || \
       fetch -o - http://pi.dk/3 ) > install.sh
    $ sha1sum install.sh | grep c82233e7da3166308632ac8c34f850c0
    12345678 c82233e7 da316630 8632ac8c 34f850c0
    $ md5sum install.sh | grep ae3d7aac5e15cf3dfc87046cfc5918d2
    ae3d7aac 5e15cf3d fc87046c fc5918d2
    $ sha512sum install.sh | grep dfc00d823137271a6d96225cea9e89f533ff6c81f
    9c5198d5 31a3b755 b7910ece 3a42d206 c804694d fc00d823 137271a6 d96225ce
    a9e89f53 3ff6c81f f52b298b ef9fb613 2d3f9ccd 0e2c7bd3 c35978b5 79acb5ca
    $ bash install.sh

Watch the intro video on http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your command line will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2018): GNU Parallel 2018, March 2018, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1146014.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ Identi.ca/Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/mailing lists
  • Get the merchandise https://gnuparallel.threadless.com/designs/gnu-parallel
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use programs that use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --citation)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:

About GNU SQL

GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

22 August, 2021 08:02PM by Ole Tange

August 20, 2021

FSF Blogs

August 15, 2021

GNU Anastasis

Anastasis becomes a GNU package

Anastasis is now officially a GNU package.

15 August, 2021 10:00PM

GNU Health

GNU Health emergency response in Haiti

Yesterday, yet another devastating earthquake hit the southern area of Haiti.

Immediately knowing about the earthquake, we contacted our representative in Haiti, Pierre Michel Augustin, and started an emergency humanitarian response in coordination with our team in the country .

Haiti suffers from recurrent natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes). In the last years, Haiti has also been a victim of structural poverty and civil unrest. Haitians are strong, resilient, noble people. Haiti is the land of the free and the brave (see my post “My trip to Haiti, the land of the Free and the Brave” ), yet it seems like the world has forgotten about Haiti.

GNU Solidario emergency response campaign in Haiti: https://www.gnusolidario.org/haiti.html

Archive picture (credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino).

We need emergency response now, but we also need to work on Social Medicine, and tackle the socioeconomic determinants that are the root cause of the structural poverty in Haiti. Only then, our Haitians brothers and sisters will be able to recover the dignity that they deserve, and grow in prosperity. We need to create the conditions, working the local community in the country to strengthen the public health and education system. GNU Health is part of this program.

Our local representative, engineer Pierre Michel Augustin, has been working in the localization of GNU Health, and by the end of 2021, we will have the GNU Health node fully operational in Limbé. The Haiti GNU Health office will provide training and support to the local and regional health professionals and institutions.

The GNU Health project focuses on helping health professionals delivering Social Medicine and health informatics.

Natural disasters have a profound impact in the short, medium and long period in any nation. The situation gets much worse when they hit impoverished nations. So, in the short term, we will put all the effort to tackle this emergency and save lives. For the medium and long term, we will continue the GNU Health node in Haiti and building the GNU Health Federation in the country, in cooperation with the local team, academic and health institutions.

Creating local capacity is key to make the project sustainable. Resources will be dedicated to build the infrastructure (hardware, network..), but the main focus and effort will be on building local capacity, and training the local team to make them independent and build a sustainable and ethical model.

Visit https://www.gnusolidario.org/haiti.html to support our mission in Haiti

In the end, technology is just a medium, and GNU Health is a social project that uses really cool Free/Libre technology and open science, for the betterment of our societies.

Please consider helping GNU Solidario humanitarian campaign in Haiti, by visiting the following link:

https://www.gnusolidario.org/haiti.html

About GNU Solidario:

GNU Solidario is a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on Social Medicine. We have missions around the globe, and our projects has been adopted by health institutions, multilateral organizations and national public health systems around the world.

GNU Solidario is the organization behind GNU Health, the award winning Free / Libre digital health ecosystem, that provides a Hospital Management System, a Lab Information System, a Personal Health Record and a distributed, Federated health network.

GNU Health is a GNU official project ( see www.gnu.org), licensed under the GNU General Public License, GPL v3+

15 August, 2021 01:26PM by Luis Falcon

August 14, 2021

grep @ Savannah

grep-3.7 released [stable]

This is to announce grep-3.7, a stable release.

There have been 33 commits by 6 people in the 40 weeks since 3.6.

See the NEWS below for a brief summary.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
The following people contributed changes to this release:

  Helge Kreutzmann (1)
  Jim Meyering (15)
  Kevin Locke (2)
  Marek Suppa (1)
  Mateusz Okulus (1)
  Paul Eggert (13)

There were also 855 changes via the gnulib submodule.
==================================================================
Here is the GNU grep home page:
    http://gnu.org/s/grep/

Here are the compressed sources:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.7.tar.gz   (2.6MB)
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.7.tar.xz   (1.6MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.7.tar.gz.sig
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.7.tar.xz.sig

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
  https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:

5359ea0105cedfa21a63c89b22e0d7b41b016a40  grep-3.7.tar.gz
wisM8tT2u+WZyQI4foBYmQ4e7pmu8zOiA4KeX9Pbs0I  grep-3.7.tar.gz
4d56da85e468e4012c81533a22052014a4c98b17  grep-3.7.tar.xz
XBDaMSRgrschmE1dgyRtJFIOxDjdSNerWgXbwNbWgjw  grep-3.7.tar.xz

The SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the
hexadecimal encoding that most checksum tools default to.

[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
.sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify grep-3.7.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.71
  Automake 1.16d
  Gnulib v0.1-4847-g1cb09be022

===============================
NEWS

* Noteworthy changes in release 3.7 (2021-08-14) [stable]

** Changes in behavior

  Use of the --unix-byte-offsets (-u) option now evokes a warning.
  Since 3.1, this Windows-only option has had no effect.

** Bug fixes

  Preprocessing N patterns would take at least O(N^2) time when too many
  patterns hashed to too few buckets. This now takes seconds, not days:
  : | grep -Ff <(seq 6400000 | tr 0-9 A-J)
  [Bug#44754 introduced in grep 3.5]

14 August, 2021 08:12PM by Jim Meyering

August 12, 2021

Parabola GNU/Linux-libre

TalkingParabola merged in main ISO and installation medium with installer

Last year Arch integrated the features from the TalkingArch project into archiso and some months ago they added an installer into their installation medium. As a result, and with some delay, TalkingParabola was deprecated and we added these features to our ISOs too. They are available in out download page as well.

Note that although the OpenRC LXDE ISO has the speech boot option, this only works for CLI. Screen reader support will be added in the future for the GUI and the current installer will be replaced with one based in Zen Installer.

12 August, 2021 05:43AM by David P.

August 07, 2021

GNU Taler news

Code Blau GmbH deploys first external Taler auditor

We received a grant from NLnet foundation with the goal to qualify Code Blau GmbH to act as an external auditor for GNU Taler. To do this, we created a guide that describes how to deploy a Taler auditor and then practiced the steps using the existing Taler exchange deployment at BFH. Code Blau wrote a report detailing all the steps taken. Finally, we have created a draft of the kind of business agreement that Code Blau would enter with banks operating the Taler payment system. We thank CodeBlau for their work, and NLnet and the European Commission's Horizion 2020 NGI initiative for funding this work.

07 August, 2021 10:00PM

GNUnet News

GNUnet 0.15.0

GNUnet 0.15.0 released

We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.15.0.
This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.14.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.14.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in issues. 0.14.x peers will be able to communicate with Git master or 0.14.x peers, but some services - in particular GNS - will not be compatible.
The MESSENGER service goes out of experimental to be used by libraries and applications as dependency. It handles decentralized messaging in flexible groups by using the CADET service and messages can be signed with your ego from the IDENTITY service. The service is still in an early stage, so its protocol (currently version 0.1) will likely adapt or change in future releases to some degree.
In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.15.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance .

Download links

The GPG key used to sign is: 3D11063C10F98D14BD24D1470B0998EF86F59B6A

Note that due to mirror synchronization, not all links might be functional early after the release. For direct access try http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnunet/

Noteworthy changes in 0.15.0 (since 0.14.1)

  • GNS :
  • SCALARPRODUCT : Crypto ported to libsodium improving performance. #6818
  • RECLAIM : Added support for BBS+ blind signature credentials for selective disclosure.
  • UTIL :
    • Swap gnunet-config's default behaviour for the rewrite flag.
    • Config file is not not always written
    • Introduced new TIME helper functions
  • SETU : Implemented set union subsystem along with technical specification LSD0003 .
  • MESSENGER : New messenger component moved out of experimental.

A detailed list of changes can be found in the ChangeLog and the bug tracker .

Known Issues

  • There are known major design issues in the TRANSPORT, ATS and CORE subsystems which will need to be addressed in the future to achieve acceptable usability, performance and security.
  • There are known moderate implementation limitations in CADET that negatively impact performance.
  • There are known moderate design issues in FS that also impact usability and performance.
  • There are minor implementation limitations in SET that create unnecessary attack surface for availability.
  • The RPS subsystem remains experimental.
  • Some high-level tests in the test-suite fail non-deterministically due to the low-level TRANSPORT issues.

In addition to this list, you may also want to consult our bug tracker at bugs.gnunet.org which lists about 190 more specific issues.

Thanks

This release was the work of many people. The following people contributed code and were thus easily identified: Christian Grothoff, Daniel Golle, Alessio Vanni, Thien-Thi Nguyen, Elias Summermatter, t3sserakt, TheJackiMonster and Martin Schanzenbach.

07 August, 2021 10:00PM

August 05, 2021

FSF Blogs

July GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: Fifteen new GNU releases!

15 new GNU releases in the last month (as of July 26, 2021):

05 August, 2021 02:39PM

mailutils @ Savannah

Version 3.13

Version 3.13 of GNU mailutils is [https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/mailutils/mailutils-3.13.tar.gz available for download.

New in this version:

  • Improved mailbox locking.
  • Changes in the 'locking' configuration statement.
  • Important changes in mail utility.

05 August, 2021 11:46AM by Sergey Poznyakoff

August 02, 2021

GNU Guix

Taming the ‘stat’ storm with a loader cache

It was one of these days where some of us on IRC were rehashing that old problem—that application startup in Guix causes a “stat storm”—and lamenting the lack of a solution when suddenly, Ricardo proposes what, in hindsight, looks like an obvious solution: “maybe we could use a per-application ld cache?”. A moment where collective thinking exceeds the sum of our individual thoughts. The result is one of the many features that made it in the core-updates branch, slated to be merged in the coming weeks, one that reduces application startup time.

ELF files and their dependencies

Before going into detail, let’s look at what those “stat storms” look like and where they come from. Loading an ELF executable involves loading the shared libraries (the .so files, for “shared objects”) it depends on, recursively. This is the job of the loader (or dynamic linker), ld.so, which is part of the GNU C Library (glibc) package. What shared libraries an executable like that of Emacs depends on? The ldd command answers that question:

$ ldd $(type -P .emacs-27.2-real)
        linux-vdso.so.1 (0x00007fff565bb000)
        libtiff.so.5 => /gnu/store/l1wwr5c34593gqxvp34qbwdkaf7xhdbd-libtiff-4.2.0/lib/libtiff.so.5 (0x00007fd5aa2b1000)
        libjpeg.so.62 => /gnu/store/5khkwz9g6vza1n4z8xlmdrwhazz7m8wp-libjpeg-turbo-2.0.5/lib/libjpeg.so.62 (0x00007fd5aa219000)
        libpng16.so.16 => /gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/libpng16.so.16 (0x00007fd5aa1e4000)
        libz.so.1 => /gnu/store/rykm237xkmq7rl1p0nwass01p090p88x-zlib-1.2.11/lib/libz.so.1 (0x00007fd5aa1c2000)
        libgif.so.7 => /gnu/store/bpw826hypzlnl4gr6d0v8m63dd0k8waw-giflib-5.2.1/lib/libgif.so.7 (0x00007fd5aa1b8000)
        libXpm.so.4 => /gnu/store/jgdsl6whyimkz4hxsp2vrl77338kpl0i-libxpm-3.5.13/lib/libXpm.so.4 (0x00007fd5aa1a4000)
[…]
$ ldd $(type -P .emacs-27.2-real) | wc -l
89

(If you’re wondering why we’re looking at .emacs-27.2-real rather than emacs-27.2, it’s because in Guix the latter is a tiny shell wrapper around the former.)

To load a graphical program like Emacs, the loader needs to load more than 80 shared libraries! Each is in its own /gnu/store sub-directory in Guix, one directory per package.

But how does ld.so know where to find these libraries in the first place? In Guix, during the link phase that produces an ELF file (executable or shared library), we tell the linker to populate the RUNPATH entry of the ELF file with the list of directories where its dependencies may be found. This is done by passing -rpath options to the linker, which Guix’s “linker wrapper” takes care of. The RUNPATH is the run-time library search path: it’s a colon-separated list of directories where ld.so will look for shared libraries when it loads an ELF file. We can look at the RUNPATH of our Emacs executable like this:

$ objdump -x $(type -P .emacs-27.2-real) | grep RUNPATH
  RUNPATH              /gnu/store/fa6wj5bxkj5ll1d7292a70knmyl7a0cr-glibc-2.31/lib:/gnu/store/01b4w3m6mp55y531kyi1g8shh722kwqm-gcc-7.5.0-lib/lib:/gnu/store/l1wwr5c34593gqxvp34qbwdkaf7xhdbd-libtiff-4.2.0/lib:/gnu/store/5khkwz9g6vza1n4z8xlmdrwhazz7m8wp-libjpeg-turbo-2.0.5/lib:[…]

This RUNPATH has 39 entries, which roughly corresponds to the number of direct dependencies of the executable—dependencies are listed as NEEDED entries in the ELF file:

$ objdump -x $(type -P .emacs-27.2-real) | grep NEED | head
  NEEDED               libtiff.so.5
  NEEDED               libjpeg.so.62
  NEEDED               libpng16.so.16
  NEEDED               libz.so.1
  NEEDED               libgif.so.7
  NEEDED               libXpm.so.4
  NEEDED               libgtk-3.so.0
  NEEDED               libgdk-3.so.0
  NEEDED               libpangocairo-1.0.so.0
  NEEDED               libpango-1.0.so.0
$ objdump -x $(type -P .emacs-27.2-real) | grep NEED | wc -l
52

(Some of these .so files live in the same directory, which is why there are more NEEDED entries than directories in the RUNPATH.)

A system such as Debian that follows the file system hierarchy standard (FHS), where all libraries are in /lib or /usr/lib, does not have to bother with RUNPATH: all .so files are known to be found in one of these two “standard” locations. Anyway, let’s get back to our initial topic: the “stat storm”.

Walking search paths

As you can guess, when we run Emacs, the loader first needs to locate and load the 80+ shared libraries it depends on. That’s where things get pretty inefficient: the loader will search each .so file Emacs depends on in one of the 39 directories listed in its RUNPATH. Likewise, when it finally finds libgtk-3.so, it’ll look for its dependencies in each of the directories in its RUNPATH. We can see that at play by tracing system calls with the strace command:

$ strace -c emacs --version
GNU Emacs 27.2
Copyright (C) 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
GNU Emacs comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You may redistribute copies of GNU Emacs
under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
For more information about these matters, see the file named COPYING.
% time     seconds  usecs/call     calls    errors syscall
------ ----------- ----------- --------- --------- ----------------
 55.46    0.006629           3      1851      1742 openat
 16.06    0.001919           4       422           mmap
 11.46    0.001370           2       501       477 stat
  4.79    0.000573           4       122           mprotect
  3.84    0.000459           4       111           read
  2.45    0.000293           2       109           fstat
  2.34    0.000280           2       111           close
[…]
------ ----------- ----------- --------- --------- ----------------
100.00    0.011952           3      3325      2227 total

For this simple emacs --version command, the loader and emacs probed for more than 2,200 files, with the openat and stat system calls, and most of these probes were unsuccessful (counted as “errors” here, meaning that the call returned an error). The fraction of “erroneous” system calls is no less than 67% (2,227 over 3,325). We can see the desperate search of .so files by looking at individual calls:

$ strace -e openat,stat emacs --version
[…]
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/fa6wj5bxkj5ll1d7292a70knmyl7a0cr-glibc-2.31/lib/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/01b4w3m6mp55y531kyi1g8shh722kwqm-gcc-7.5.0-lib/lib/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/l1wwr5c34593gqxvp34qbwdkaf7xhdbd-libtiff-4.2.0/lib/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/5khkwz9g6vza1n4z8xlmdrwhazz7m8wp-libjpeg-turbo-2.0.5/lib/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/haswell/x86_64/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/haswell/x86_64", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/haswell/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/haswell", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/x86_64/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/x86_64", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/tls", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/haswell/x86_64/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/haswell/x86_64", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/haswell/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/haswell", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/x86_64/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/x86_64", 0x7ffe428a1c70) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/gnu/store/3x2kak8abb6z2klch72kfff2qxzv00pj-libpng-1.6.37/lib/libpng16.so.16", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = 3
[…]

Above is the sequence where we see ld.so look for libpng16.so.16, searching in locations where we know it’s not going to find it. A bit ridiculous. How does this affect performance? The impact is small in the most favorable case—on a hot cache, with fast solid state device (SSD) storage. But it likely has a visible effect in other cases—on a cold cache, with a slower spinning hard disk drive (HDD), on a network file system (NFS).

Enter the per-package loader cache

The idea that Ricardo submitted, using a loader cache, makes a lot of sense: we know from the start that libpng.so may only be found in /gnu/store/…-libpng-1.6.37, no need to look elsewhere. In fact, it’s not new: glibc has had such a cache “forever”; it’s the /etc/ld.so.cache file you can see on FHS distros and which is typically created by running ldconfig when a package has been installed. Roughly, the cache maps library SONAMEs, such as libpng16.so.16, to their file name on disk, say /usr/lib/libpng16.so.16.

The problem is that this cache is inherently system-wide: it assumes that there is only one libpng16.so on the system; any binary that depends on libpng16.so will load it from its one and only location. This models perfectly matches the FHS, but it’s at odds with the flexibility offered by Guix, where several variants or versions of the library can coexist on the system, used by different applications. That’s the reason why Guix and other non-FHS distros such as NixOS or GoboLinux typically turn off that feature altogether… and pay the cost of those stat storms.

The insight we gained on that Tuesday evening IRC conversation is that we could adapt glibc’s loader cache to our setting: instead of a system-wide cache, we’d have a per-application loader cache. As one of the last package build phases, we’d run ldconfig to create etc/ld.so.cache within that package’s /gnu/store sub-directory. We then need to modify the loader so it would look for ${ORIGIN}/../etc/ld.so.cache instead of /etc/ld.so.cache, where ${ORIGIN} is the location of the ELF file being loaded. A discussion of these changes is in the issue tracker; you can see the glibc patch and the new make-dynamic-linker-cache build phase. In short, the make-dynamic-linker-cache phase computes the set of direct and indirect dependencies of an ELF file using the file-needed/recursive procedure and derives from that the library search path, creates a temporary ld.so.conf file containing this search path for use by ldconfig, and finally runs ldconfig to actually build the cache.

How does this play out in practice? Let’s try an emacs build that uses this new loader cache:

$ strace -c /gnu/store/ijgcbf790z4x2mkjx2ha893hhmqrj29j-emacs-27.2/bin/emacs --version
GNU Emacs 27.2
Copyright (C) 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
GNU Emacs comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You may redistribute copies of GNU Emacs
under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
For more information about these matters, see the file named COPYING.
% time     seconds  usecs/call     calls    errors syscall
------ ----------- ----------- --------- --------- ----------------
 28.68    0.002909          26       110        13 openat
 25.13    0.002549          26        96           read
 20.41    0.002070           4       418           mmap
  9.34    0.000947          10        90           pread64
  6.60    0.000669           5       123           mprotect
  4.12    0.000418           3       107         1 newfstatat
  2.19    0.000222           2        99           close
[…]
------ ----------- ----------- --------- --------- ----------------
100.00    0.010144           8      1128        24 total

Compared to what we have above, the total number of system calls has been divided by 3, and the fraction of erroneous system calls goes from 67% to 0.2%. Quite a difference! We count on you, dear users, to let us know how this impacts load time for you.

Flexibility without stat storms

With GNU Stow in the 1990s, and then Nix, Guix, and other distros, the benefits of flexible file layouts rather than the rigid Unix-inherited FHS have been demonstrated—nowadays I see it as an antidote to opaque and bloated application bundles à la Docker. Luckily, few of our system tools have FHS assumptions baked in, probably in large part thanks to GNU’s insistence on a rigorous installation directory categorization in the early days rather than hard-coded directory names. The loader cache is one of the few exceptions. Adapting it to a non-FHS context is fruitful for Guix and for the other distros and packaging tools in a similar situation; perhaps it could become an option in glibc proper?

This is not the end of stat storms, though. Interpreters and language run-time systems rely on search paths—GUILE_LOAD_PATH for Guile, PYTHONPATH for Python, OCAMLPATH for OCaml, etc.—and are equally prone to stormy application startups. Unlike ELF, they do not have a mechanism akin to RUNPATH, let alone a run-time search path cache. We have yet to find ways to address these.

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is a transactional package manager and an advanced distribution of the GNU system that respects user freedom. Guix can be used on top of any system running the Hurd or the Linux kernel, or it can be used as a standalone operating system distribution for i686, x86_64, ARMv7, AArch64 and POWER9 machines.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. When used as a standalone GNU/Linux distribution, Guix offers a declarative, stateless approach to operating system configuration management. Guix is highly customizable and hackable through Guile programming interfaces and extensions to the Scheme language.

02 August, 2021 03:00PM by Ludovic Courtès

libc @ Savannah

The GNU C Library version 2.34 is now available

The GNU C Library
=================

The GNU C Library version 2.34 is now available.

The GNU C Library is used as the C library in the GNU system and
in GNU/Linux systems, as well as many other systems that use Linux
as the kernel.

The GNU C Library is primarily designed to be a portable
and high performance C library.  It follows all relevant
standards including ISO C11 and POSIX.1-2017.  It is also
internationalized and has one of the most complete
internationalization interfaces known.

The GNU C Library webpage is at http://www.gnu.org/software/libc/

Packages for the 2.34 release may be downloaded from:
        http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/libc/
        http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/libc/

The mirror list is at http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

NEWS for version 2.34
=====================

Major new features:

  • In order to support smoother in-place-upgrades and to simplify

  the implementation of the runtime all functionality formerly
  implemented in the libraries libpthread, libdl, libutil, libanl has
  been integrated into libc.  New applications do not need to link with
  -lpthread, -ldl, -lutil, -lanl anymore.  For backwards compatibility,
  empty static archives libpthread.a, libdl.a, libutil.a, libanl.a are
  provided, so that the linker options keep working.  Applications which
  have been linked against glibc 2.33 or earlier continue to load the
  corresponding shared objects (which are now empty).  The integration
  of those libraries into libc means that additional symbols become
  available by default.  This can cause applications that contain weak
  references to take unexpected code paths that would only have been
  used in previous glibc versions when e.g. preloading libpthread.so.0,
  potentially exposing application bugs.

  • When _DYNAMIC_STACK_SIZE_SOURCE or _GNU_SOURCE are defined,

  PTHREAD_STACK_MIN is no longer constant and is redefined to
  sysconf(_SC_THREAD_STACK_MIN).  This supports dynamic sized register
  sets for modern architectural features like Arm SVE.

  • Add _SC_MINSIGSTKSZ and _SC_SIGSTKSZ.  When _DYNAMIC_STACK_SIZE_SOURCE

  or _GNU_SOURCE are defined, MINSIGSTKSZ and SIGSTKSZ are no longer
  constant on Linux.  MINSIGSTKSZ is redefined to sysconf(_SC_MINSIGSTKSZ)
  and SIGSTKSZ is redefined to sysconf (_SC_SIGSTKSZ).  This supports
  dynamic sized register sets for modern architectural features like
  Arm SVE.

  • The dynamic linker implements the --list-diagnostics option, printing

  a dump of information related to IFUNC resolver operation and
  glibc-hwcaps subdirectory selection.

  • On Linux, the function execveat has been added.  It operates similar to

  execve and it is is already used to implement fexecve without requiring
  /proc to be mounted.  However, different than fexecve, if the syscall is not
  supported by the kernel an error is returned instead of trying a fallback.

  • The ISO C2X function timespec_getres has been added.
  • The feature test macro _STDC_WANT_IEC_60559_EXT_, from draft ISO

  C2X, is supported to enable declarations of functions defined in Annex F
  of C2X.  Those declarations are also enabled when
  _STDC_WANT_IEC_60559_BFP_EXT_, as specified in TS 18661-1, is
  defined, and when _GNU_SOURCE is defined.

  • On powerpc64*, glibc can now be compiled without scv support using the

  --disable-scv configure option.

  • Add support for 64-bit time_t on configurations like x86 where time_t

  is traditionally 32-bit.  Although time_t still defaults to 32-bit on
  these configurations, this default may change in future versions.
  This is enabled with the _TIME_BITS preprocessor macro set to 64 and is
  only supported when LFS (_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64) is also enabled.  It is
  only enabled for Linux and the full support requires a minimum kernel
  version of 5.1.

  • The main gconv-modules file in glibc now contains only a small set of

  essential converter modules and the rest have been moved into a supplementary
  configuration file gconv-modules-extra.conf in the gconv-modules.d directory
  in the same GCONV_PATH.  Similarly, external converter modules directories
  may have supplementary configuration files in a gconv-modules.d directory
  with names ending with .conf to logically classify the converter modules in
  that directory.

  • On Linux, a new tunable, glibc.pthread.stack_cache_size, can be used

  to configure the size of the thread stack cache.

  • The function _Fork has been added as an async-signal-safe fork replacement

  since Austin Group issue 62 droped the async-signal-safe requirement for
  fork (and it will be included in the future POSIX standard).  The new _Fork
  function does not run any atfork function neither resets any internal state
  or lock (such as the malloc one), and only sets up a minimal state required
  to call async-signal-safe functions (such as raise or execve).  This function
  is currently a GNU extension.

  • On Linux, the close_range function has been added.  It allows efficiently

  closing a range of file descriptors on recent kernels (version 5.9).

  • The function closefrom has been added.  It closes all file descriptors

  greater than or equal to a given integer.  This function is a GNU extension,
  although it is also present in other systems.

  • The posix_spawn_file_actions_addclosefrom_np function has been added,

  enabling posix_spawn and posix_spawnp to close all file descriptors greater
  than or equal to a given integer.  This function is a GNU extension,
  although Solaris also provides a similar function.

Deprecated and removed features, and other changes affecting compatibility:

  • The function pthread_mutex_consistent_np has been deprecated; programs

  should use the equivalent standard function pthread_mutex_consistent
  instead.

  • The function pthread_mutexattr_getrobust_np has been deprecated;

  programs should use the equivalent standard function
  pthread_mutexattr_getrobust instead.

  • The function pthread_mutexattr_setrobust_np has been deprecated;

  programs should use the equivalent standard function
  pthread_mutexattr_setrobust instead.

  • The function pthread_yield has been deprecated; programs should use

  the equivalent standard function sched_yield instead.

  • The function inet_neta declared in <arpa/inet.h> has been deprecated.
  • Various rarely-used functions declared in <resolv.h> and

  <arpa/nameser.h> have been deprecated.  Applications are encouraged to
  use dedicated DNS processing libraries if applicable.  For <resolv.h>,
  this affects the functions dn_count_labels, fp_nquery, fp_query,
  fp_resstat, hostalias, loc_aton, loc_ntoa, p_cdname, p_cdnname,
  p_class, p_fqname, p_fqnname, p_option, p_query, p_rcode, p_time,
  p_type, putlong, putshort, res_hostalias, res_isourserver,
  res_nameinquery, res_queriesmatch, res_randomid, sym_ntop, sym_ntos,
  sym_ston.  For <arpa/nameser.h>, the functions ns_datetosecs,
  ns_format_ttl, ns_makecanon, ns_parse_ttl, ns_samedomain, ns_samename,
  ns_sprintrr, ns_sprintrrf, ns_subdomain have been deprecated.

  • Various symbols previously defined in libresolv have been moved to libc

  in order to prepare for libresolv moving entirely into libc (see earlier
  entry for merging libraries into libc).  The symbols __dn_comp,
  __dn_expand, __dn_skipname, __res_dnok, __res_hnok, __res_mailok,
  __res_mkquery, __res_nmkquery, __res_nquery, __res_nquerydomain,
  __res_nsearch, __res_nsend, __res_ownok, __res_query, __res_querydomain,
  __res_search, __res_send formerly in libresolv have been renamed and no
  longer have a __ prefix.  They are now available in libc.

  • The pthread cancellation handler is now installed with SA_RESTART and

  pthread_cancel will always send the internal SIGCANCEL on a cancellation
  request.  It should not be visible to applications since the cancellation
  handler should either act upon cancellation (if asynchronous cancellation
  is enabled) or ignore the cancellation internal signal.  However there are
  buggy kernel interfaces (for instance some CIFS versions) that could still
  see a spurious EINTR error when cancellation interrupts a blocking syscall.

  • Previously, glibc installed its various shared objects under versioned

  file names such as libc-2.33.so.  The ABI sonames (e.g., libc.so.6)
  were provided as symbolic links.  Starting with glibc 2.34, the shared
  objects are installed under their ABI sonames directly, without
  symbolic links.  This increases compatibility with distribution
  package managers that delete removed files late during the package
  upgrade or downgrade process.

  • The symbols mallwatch and tr_break are now deprecated and no longer used in

  mtrace.  Similar functionality can be achieved by using conditional
  breakpoints within mtrace functions from within gdb.

  • The __morecore and __after_morecore_hook malloc hooks and the default

  implementation __default_morecore have been removed from the API.  Existing
  applications will continue to link against these symbols but the interfaces
  no longer have any effect on malloc.

  • Debugging features in malloc such as the MALLOC_CHECK_ environment variable

  (or the glibc.malloc.check tunable), mtrace() and mcheck() have now been
  disabled by default in the main C library.  Users looking to use these
  features now need to preload a new debugging DSO libc_malloc_debug.so to get
  this functionality back.

  • The deprecated functions malloc_get_state and malloc_set_state have been

  moved from the core C library into libc_malloc_debug.so.  Legacy applications
  that still use these functions will now need to preload libc_malloc_debug.so
  in their environment using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable.

  • The deprecated memory allocation hooks __malloc_hook, __realloc_hook,

  __memalign_hook and __free_hook are now removed from the API.  Compatibility
  symbols are present to support legacy programs but new applications can no
  longer link to these symbols.  These hooks no longer have any effect on glibc
  functionality.  The malloc debugging DSO libc_malloc_debug.so currently
  supports hooks and can be preloaded to get this functionality back for older
  programs.  However this is a transitional measure and may be removed in a
  future release of the GNU C Library.  Users may port away from these hooks by
  writing and preloading their own malloc interposition library.

Changes to build and runtime requirements:

  • On Linux, the shm_open, sem_open, and related functions now expect the

  file shared memory file system to be mounted at /dev/shm.  These functions
  no longer search among the system's mount points for a suitable
  replacement if /dev/shm is not available.

Security related changes:

  CVE-2021-27645: The nameserver caching daemon (nscd), when processing
  a request for netgroup lookup, may crash due to a double-free,
  potentially resulting in degraded service or Denial of Service on the
  local system.  Reported by Chris Schanzle.

  CVE-2021-33574: The mq_notify function has a potential use-after-free
  issue when using a notification type of SIGEV_THREAD and a thread
  attribute with a non-default affinity mask.

  CVE-2021-35942: The wordexp function may overflow the positional
  parameter number when processing the expansion resulting in a crash.
  Reported by Philippe Antoine.

The following bugs are resolved with this release:

  [4737] libc: fork is not async-signal-safe
  [5781] math: Slow dbl-64 sin/cos/sincos for special values
  [10353] libc: Methods for deleting all file descriptors greater than
    given integer (closefrom)
  [14185] glob: fnmatch() fails when '*' wildcard is applied on the file
    name containing multi-byte character(s)
  [14469] math: Inaccurate j0f function
  [14470] math: Inaccurate j1f function
  [14471] math: Inaccurate y0f function
  [14472] math: Inaccurate y1f function
  [14744] nptl: kill -32 $pid or kill -33 $pid on a process cancels a
    random thread
  [15271] dynamic-link: dlmopen()ed shared library with LM_ID_NEWLM
    crashes if it fails dlsym() twice
  [15648] nptl: multiple definition of `__lll_lock_wait_private'
  [16063] nptl: Provide a pthread_once variant in libc directly
  [17144] libc: syslog is not thread-safe if NO_SIGPIPE is not defined
  [17145] libc: syslog with LOG_CONS leaks console file descriptor
  [17183] manual: description of ENTRY struct in <search.h> in glibc
    manual is incorrect
  [18435] nptl: pthread_once hangs when init routine throws an exception
  [18524] nptl: Missing calloc error checking in
    __cxa_thread_atexit_impl
  [19329] dynamic-link: dl-tls.c assert failure at concurrent
    pthread_create and dlopen
  [19366] nptl: returning from a thread should disable cancellation
  [19511] nptl: 8MB memory leak in pthread_create in case of failure
    when non-root user changes priority
  [20802] dynamic-link: getauxval NULL pointer dereference after static
    dlopen
  [20813] nptl: pthread_exit is inconsistent between libc and libpthread
  [22057] malloc: malloc_usable_size is broken with mcheck
  [22668] locale: LC_COLLATE: the last character of ellipsis is not
    ordered correctly
  [23323] libc: [RFE] CSU startup hardening.
  [23328] malloc: Remove malloc hooks and ensure related APIs return no
    data.
  [23462] dynamic-link: Static binary with dynamic string tokens ($LIB,
    $PLATFORM, $ORIGIN) crashes
  [23489] libc: "gcc -lmcheck" aborts on free when using posix_memalign
  [23554] nptl: pthread_getattr_np reports wrong stack size with
    MULTI_PAGE_ALIASING
  [24106] libc: Bash interpreter in ldd script is taken from host
  [24773] dynamic-link: dlerror in an secondary namespace does not use
    the right free implementation
  [25036] localedata: Update collation order for Swedish
  [25383] libc: where_is_shmfs/__shm_directory/SHM_GET_NAME may cause
    shm_open to pick wrong directory
  [25680] dynamic-link: ifuncmain9picstatic and ifuncmain9picstatic
    crash in IFUNC resolver due to stack canary (--enable-stack-
    protector=all)
  [26874] build: -Warray-bounds in _IO_wdefault_doallocate
  [26983] math: [x86_64] x86_64 tgamma has too large ULP error
  [27111] dynamic-link: pthread_create and tls access use link_map
    objects that may be concurrently freed by dlclose
  [27132] malloc: memusagestat is linked to system librt, leading to
    undefined symbols on major version upgrade
  [27136] dynamic-link: dtv setup at thread creation may leave an entry
    uninitialized
  [27249] libc: libSegFault.so does not output signal number properly
  [27304] nptl: pthread_cond_destroy does not pass private flag to futex
    system calls
  [27318] dynamic-link: glibc fails to load binaries when built with
    -march=sandybridge:  CPU ISA level is lower than required
  [27343] nss: initgroups() SIGSEGVs when called on a system without
    nsswich.conf (in a chroot)
  [27346] dynamic-link: x86: PTWRITE feature check is missing
  [27389] network: NSS chroot hardening causes regressions in chroot
    deployments
  [27403] dynamic-link: aarch64: tlsdesc htab is not freed on dlclose
  [27444] libc: sysconf reports unsupported option (-1) for
    _SC_LEVEL1_ICACHE_LINESIZE on X86 since v2.33
  [27462] nscd: double-free in nscd (CVE-2021-27645)
  [27468] malloc: aarch64: realloc crash with heap tagging: FAIL:
    malloc/tst-malloc-thread-fail
  [27498] dynamic-link: __dl_iterate_phdr lacks unwinding information
  [27511] libc: S390 memmove assumes Vector Facility when MIE Facility 3
    is present
  [27522] glob: glob, glob64 incorrectly marked as __THROW
  [27555] dynamic-link: Static tests fail with --enable-stack-
    protector=all
  [27559] libc: fstat(AT_FDCWD) succeeds (it shouldn't) and returns
    information for the current directory
  [27577] dynamic-link: elf/ld.so --help doesn't work
  [27605] libc: tunables can't control xsave/xsavec selection in
    dl_runtime_resolve_*
  [27623] libc: powerpc: Missing registers in sc[v] clobbers list
  [27645] libc: [linux] sysconf(_SC_NPROCESSOR...) breaks down on
    containers
  [27646] dynamic-link: Linker error for non-existing NSS symbols (e.g.
    _nss_files_getcanonname_r) from within a dlmopen namespace.
  [27648] libc: FAIL: misc/tst-select
  [27650] stdio: vfscanf returns too early if a match is longer than
    INT_MAX
  [27651] libc: Performance regression after updating to 2.33
  [27655] string: Wrong size calculation in string/test-strnlen.c
  [27706] libc: select fails to update timeout on error
  [27709] libc: arm: FAIL: debug/tst-longjmp_chk2
  [27721] dynamic-link: x86: ld_audit ignores bind now for TLSDESC and
    tries resolving them lazily
  [27744] nptl: Support different libpthread/ld.so load orders in
    libthread_db
  [27749] libc: Data race __run_exit_handlers
  [27761] libc: getconf: Segmentation fault when passing '-vq' as
    argument
  [27832] nss: makedb.c:797:7: error: 'writev' specified size 4294967295
    exceeds maximum object size 2147483647
  [27870] malloc: MALLOC_CHECK_ causes realloc(valid_ptr, TOO_LARGE) to
    not set ENOMEM
  [27872] build: Obsolete configure option --enable-stackguard-
    randomization
  [27873] build: tst-cpu-features-cpuinfo fail when building on AMD cpu
  [27882] localedata: Use U+00AF MACRON in more EBCDIC charsets
  [27892] libc: powerpc: scv ABI error handling fails to check
    IS_ERR_VALUE
  [27896] nptl: mq_notify does not handle separately allocated thread
    attributes (CVE-2021-33574)
  [27901] libc: TEST_STACK_ALIGN doesn't work
  [27902] libc: The x86-64 clone wrapper fails to align child stack
  [27914] nptl: Install SIGSETXID handler with SA_ONSTACK
  [27939] libc: aarch64: clone does not align the stack
  [27968] libc: s390x: clone does not align the stack
  [28011] libc: Wild read in wordexp (parse_param) (CVE-2021-35942)
  [28024] string: s390(31bit): Wrong result of memchr (MEMCHR_Z900_G5)
    with n >= 0x80000000
  [28028] malloc: malloc: tcache shutdown sequence does not work if the
    thread never allocated anything
  [28033] libc: Need to check RTM_ALWAYS_ABORT for RTM
  [28064] string: x86_64:wcslen implementation list has wcsnlen
  [28067] libc: FAIL: posix/tst-spawn5
  [28068] malloc: FAIL: malloc/tst-mallocalign1-mcheck
  [28071] time: clock_gettime, gettimeofday, time lost vDSO acceleration
    on older kernels
  [28075] nis: Out-of-bounds static buffer read in nis_local_domain
  [28089] build: tst-tls20 fails when linker defaults to --as-needed
  [28090] build: elf/tst-cpu-features-cpuinfo-static fails on certain
    AMD64 cpus
  [28091] network: ns_name_skip may return 0 for domain names without
    terminator

Release Notes
=============

https://sourceware.org/glibc/wiki/Release/2.34

Contributors
============

This release was made possible by the contributions of many people.
The maintainers are grateful to everyone who has contributed
changes or bug reports.  These include:

Adhemerval Zanella
Alejandro Colomar \(man-pages\)
Alexandra Hájková
Alice Xu
Alyssa Ross
Andreas Roeseler
Andreas Schwab
Anton Blanchard
Arjun Shankar
Armin Brauns
Bruno Haible
Carlos O'Donell
Cooper Qu
DJ Delorie
Dan Raymond
Darius Rad
David Hughes
Fangrui Song
Florian Weimer
H.J. Lu
Hanataka Shinya
Hugo Gabriel Eyherabide
Jakub Jelinek
JeffyChen
John David Anglin
Joseph Myers
Khem Raj
Lirong Yuan
Lucas A. M. Magalhaes
Lukasz Majewski
Maninder Singh
Mark Harris
Martin Sebor
Matheus Castanho
Michal Nazarewicz
Mike Hommey
Naohiro Tamura
Nicholas Piggin
Noah Goldstein
Paul Eggert
Paul Zimmermann
Pedro Franco de Carvalho
Raoni Fassina Firmino
Raphael Moreira Zinsly
Romain GEISSLER
Sajan Karumanchi
Samuel Thibault
Sebastian Rasmussen
Sergei Trofimovich
Shen-Ta Hsieh
Siddhesh Poyarekar
Stafford Horne
Stefan Liebler
Sunil K Pandey
Szabolcs Nagy
Tulio Magno Quites Machado Filho
Vineet Gupta
Vitaly Buka
Vitaly Chikunov
Wilco Dijkstra
Xeonacid
Xiaoming Ni
Yang Xu
liuhongt
noah
Érico Nogueira

02 August, 2021 03:57AM by Carlos O'Donell

diffutils @ Savannah

diffutils-3.8 released [stable]

This is to announce diffutils-3.8, a stable release.

There have been 47 commits by 5 people in the 2.6 years since 3.7.

See the NEWS below for a brief summary.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
The following people contributed changes to this release:

  Bruno Haible (2)
  Dave Odell (1)
  Jim Meyering (23)
  KO Myung-Hun (1)
  Paul Eggert (20)

Jim [on behalf of the diffutils maintainers]
==================================================================

Here is the GNU diffutils home page:
    http://gnu.org/s/diffutils/

For a summary of changes and contributors, see:
  http://git.sv.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=diffutils.git;a=shortlog;h=v3.8
or run this command from a git-cloned diffutils directory:
  git shortlog v3.7..v3.8

To summarize the 2453 gnulib-related changes, run these commands
from a git-cloned diffutils directory:
  git checkout v3.8
  git submodule summary v3.7

Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature[*]:
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/diffutils/diffutils-3.8.tar.xz
  https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/diffutils/diffutils-3.8.tar.xz.sig

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
  https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/diffutils/diffutils-3.8.tar.xz
  https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/diffutils/diffutils-3.8.tar.xz.sig

[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
.sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify diffutils-3.8.tar.xz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.71
  Automake 1.16d
  Gnulib v0.1-4758-gb48905892

NEWS

* Noteworthy changes in release 3.8 (2021-08-01) [stable]

** Incompatible changes

  diff no longer treats a closed stdin as representing an absent file
  in usage like 'diff --new-file - foo <&-'.  This feature was rarely
  if ever used and was not portable to POSIX platforms that reopen
  stdin on exec, such as SELinux if the process underwent an AT_SECURE
  transition, or HP-UX even if not setuid.
  [bug#33965 introduced in 2.8]

** Bug fixes

  diff and related programs no longer get confused if stdin, stdout,
  or stderr are closed.  Previously, they sometimes opened files into
  file descriptors 0, 1, or 2 and then mistakenly did I/O with them
  that was intended for stdin, stdout, or stderr.
  [bug#33965 present since "the beginning"]

  cmp, diff and sdiff no longer treat negative command-line
  option-arguments as if they were large positive numbers.
  [bug#35256 introduced in 2.8]

02 August, 2021 02:14AM by Jim Meyering

July 29, 2021

remotecontrol @ Savannah

July 28, 2021

FSF News

FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

28 July, 2021 08:35PM

July 25, 2021

health @ Savannah

Release of MyGNUHealth 1.0.3

Dear GNU community:

I am happy to announce that the release 1.0.3 of the GNU Health Personal Health Record (PHR) component, MyGNUHealth.

This release updates the medical genetics domain, with the latest human natural variant dataset based on UniProt Consortium (release 2021_03 of June 02 2021).

Statistics for single amino acid variants:

             Likely pathogenic or pathogenic (LP/P):  31398
             Likely benign or benign         (LB/B):  39584
             Uncertain significance            (US):   8763
                                             --------------
                                              Total:  79745

In addition, some minor changes / updates in the documentation and credits have been done.

This latest version is already available at Savannah, and the Python Package Index (PyPi). Shortly will also be in your favorite Libre operating system / distribution.

Again, thanks to all of you who collaborate and make GNU Health a reality!

Happy and healthy hacking!
Luis

25 July, 2021 01:03PM by Luis Falcon

July 22, 2021

parallel @ Savannah

GNU Parallel 20210722 ('Blue Unity') released

GNU Parallel 20210722 ('Blue Unity') has been released. It is available for download at: lbry://@GnuParallel:4

Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4

It does not have to be as detailed as Juan's. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

Quote of the month:

  We use gnu parallel now - and happier for it.
     -- Ben Davies @benjamindavies@twitter

New in this release:

  • parset supports associative arrays in bash, ksh, zsh.
  • Online HTML is now generated by Sphinx.
  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

News about GNU Parallel:

Get the book: GNU Parallel 2018 http://www.lulu.com/shop/ole-tange/gnu-parallel-2018/paperback/product-23558902.html

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

If you like GNU Parallel record a video testimonial: Say who you are, what you use GNU Parallel for, how it helps you, and what you like most about it. Include a command that uses GNU Parallel if you feel like it.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

For example you can run this to convert all jpeg files into png and gif files and have a progress bar:

  parallel --bar convert {1} {1.}.{2} ::: *.jpg ::: png gif

Or you can generate big, medium, and small thumbnails of all jpeg files in sub dirs:

  find . -name '*.jpg' |
    parallel convert -geometry {2} {1} {1//}/thumb{2}_{1/} :::: - ::: 50 100 200

You can find more about GNU Parallel at: http://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with:

    $ (wget -O - pi.dk/3 || lynx -source pi.dk/3 || curl pi.dk/3/ || \
       fetch -o - http://pi.dk/3 ) > install.sh
    $ sha1sum install.sh | grep c82233e7da3166308632ac8c34f850c0
    12345678 c82233e7 da316630 8632ac8c 34f850c0
    $ md5sum install.sh | grep ae3d7aac5e15cf3dfc87046cfc5918d2
    ae3d7aac 5e15cf3d fc87046c fc5918d2
    $ sha512sum install.sh | grep dfc00d823137271a6d96225cea9e89f533ff6c81f
    9c5198d5 31a3b755 b7910ece 3a42d206 c804694d fc00d823 137271a6 d96225ce
    a9e89f53 3ff6c81f f52b298b ef9fb613 2d3f9ccd 0e2c7bd3 c35978b5 79acb5ca
    $ bash install.sh

Watch the intro video on http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your command line will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2018): GNU Parallel 2018, March 2018, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1146014.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ Identi.ca/Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/mailing lists
  • Get the merchandise https://gnuparallel.threadless.com/designs/gnu-parallel
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use programs that use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --citation)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:

About GNU SQL

GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

22 July, 2021 08:33PM by Ole Tange

July 14, 2021

health @ Savannah

MyGNUHealth maintenance release 1.0.2 is out!

MyGNUHealth 1.0.2 is ready to be downloaded from GNU.org!

This maintenance release fixes some issues with global (drawer) menus in MATE, XFCE desktops, as well as in SXMO on the PinePhone.

In addition, the documentation has been updated.
(https://www.gnuhealth.org/docs/mygnuhealth)

Happy and healthy hacking!

14 July, 2021 11:13PM by Luis Falcon

July 12, 2021

GNU Health

Back to the Future

Leonardo da Vinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication“, but it seems like the “modern” computing world never heard that quote, or ignore it. Today, a single application takes hundreds of megabytes, both of disk and RAM space. Slow, buggy, inefficient systems at every level.

Probably the best example on this cluttering mess comes from the mobile computing. Most phones are bloated with useless software that not only hinders the navigation experience, but pose a threat to your privacy. Yes, all this software is proprietary. Worst of it, you can not even uninstall it.

Fortunately, there is hope. Let me introduce SXMO, the Simple X on Mobile project. As the authors describe it, SXMO is a minimalist environment for Linux smartphones, such as the PinePhone. SXMO embraces simplicity, and simplicity is both elegant and efficient.

MyGNUHealth running on PinePhone and SXMO
Full screen mode of MyGNUHealth on SXMO

SXMO uses a tiling window manager called dwm (Dynamic Window Manager), which allocates the different applications in the most efficient way. The dwm project is available as a single binary file, which source is intended not to exceed 2000 lines of code. That is amazing.

Simplicity is robust, and that again applies to SXMO. All the necessary components expected on a mobile phone (making and receiving calls, browsing the Internet, SMS messaging,..) just work. Moreover, SMXO comes with a scripting system that allow us to write solutions to our needs. For instance, the screenshots you see were taken with a script of 3 lines of code. Just place the little program under your “userscripts” directory, and voilà!, you’re ready to make screenshots from your PinePhone!

Browsing the Internet and the GNU Health homepage

Menu driven navigation in SXMO dwm in the PinePhone

In the end, most of current desktop environments today are huge, bloated and buggy. The discovery of SXMO has been an eyeopener. The perfect companion for my PinePhone.

I’m using SXMO on my PinePhone as a daily driver, and I just love it. Thanks to simple distributions such as Archlinux, Parabola or PostmarketOS, and simple Desktop / window managers as DWM, a am finally enjoying Libre mobile computing.

I feel projects like this take us back to the roots, to the beautiful world of simplicity, yet delivering the latest technology and showing us the path o the future.

References:

SXMO: https://www.sxmo.org

Pine64: https://www.pine64.org/

GNU Health : https://www.gnuhealth.org

PostmarketOS: https://postmarketos.org/

Archlinux: https://www.archlinux.org

Parabola: https://www.parabola.nu/

Featured Image: Leonardo da Vinci, drawing of a flying machine . Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

12 July, 2021 02:18PM by Luis Falcon

July 08, 2021

FSF Events

"Freedom ladder" IRC discussion and brainstorming: August 05

Learning how to find help / Trying a free operating system

08 July, 2021 05:10PM

"Freedom ladder" IRC discussion and brainstorming: July 29

Understanding encryption / Mobile phone freedom

08 July, 2021 05:10PM

"Freedom ladder" IRC discussion and brainstorming: July 22

Free replacements and installing your first free program

08 July, 2021 05:10PM

"Freedom ladder" IRC discussion and brainstorming: July 15

Understanding nonfree software / Finding your own reason to use free software

08 July, 2021 05:10PM

health @ Savannah

MyGNUHealth 1.0.1 is out!

Dear all

I just released 1.0.1 for the stable series 1.0 of MyGNUHealth, the GNU Health Personal Health Record.

This maintenance release for MyGNUHealth contains, in a nutshell:

  • Fix the download path within GNU.org. Now it points to https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/health/mygnuhealth/
  • Include Changelog file
  • Include local / offline documentation (resides on /usr/share/doc/mygnuhealth)
  • Clean up _pycache_ from tarball

Happy and healthy hacking!
Luis

08 July, 2021 12:23AM by Luis Falcon

July 07, 2021

Parabola GNU/Linux-libre

[From Arch] Sorting out old password hashes

Starting with libxcrypt 4.4.21, weak password hashes (such as MD5 and SHA1) are no longer accepted for new passwords. Users that still have their passwords stored with a weak hash will be asked to update their password on their next login.

If the login just fails (for example from display manager) switch to a virtual terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F2) and log in there once.

07 July, 2021 01:34AM by David P.

July 03, 2021

texinfo @ Savannah

Texinfo 6.8 released

We have released version 6.8 of Texinfo, the GNU documentation format.

It's available via a mirror (xz is much smaller than gz, but gz is available too just in case):

http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/texinfo/texinfo-6.8.tar.xz
http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/texinfo/texinfo-6.8.tar.gz

Please send any comments to bug-texinfo@gnu.org.

Full announcement: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-texinfo/2021-07/msg00011.html

03 July, 2021 11:48AM by Gavin D. Smith

July 02, 2021

FSF News

Apply to be the FSF's next executive director

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a principled, compassionate, and capable leader to be its new executive director. This position can be remote or based in our Boston office.

02 July, 2021 02:00PM

July 01, 2021

FSF takes next step in commitment to improving board governance

01 July, 2021 02:40PM

June 28, 2021

Christopher Allan Webber

Hello, I'm Chris Lemmer-Webber, and I'm nonbinary trans-femme

A picture of Chris and Morgan together

I recently came out as nonbinary trans-femme. That's a picture of me on the left, with my spouse Morgan Lemmer-Webber on the right.

In a sense, not much has changed, and so much has changed. I've dropped the "-topher" from my name, and given the common tendency to apply gender to pronouns in English, please either use nonbinary pronouns or feminine pronouns to apply to me. Other changes are happening as I wander through this space, from appearance to other things. (Probably the biggest change is finally achieving something resembling self-acceptance, however.)

If you want to know more, Morgan and I did a podcast episode which explains more from my present standing, and also explains Morgan's experiences with being demisexual, which not many people know about! (Morgan has been incredible through this whole process, by the way.)

But things may change further. Maybe a year from now those changes may be even more drastic, or maybe not. We'll see. I am wandering, and I don't know where I will land, but it won't be back to where I was.

At any rate, I've spent much of my life not being able to stand myself for how I look and feel. For most of my life, I have not been able to look at myself in a mirror for more than a second or two due to the revulsion I felt at the person I saw staring back at me. The last few weeks have been a shift change for me in that regard... it's a very new experience to feel so happy with myself.

I'm only at the beginning of this journey. I'd appreciate your support... people have been incredibly kind to me by and large so far but like everyone who goes through a process like this, it's very hard in those experiences where people aren't. Thank you to everyone who has been there for me so far.

28 June, 2021 11:13PM by Chris Lemmer-Webber

June 24, 2021

health @ Savannah

Welcome to MyGNUHealth, the GNU Health Libre Personal Health Record

Original article including MyGNUHealth pictures is at (https://meanmicio.org/2021/06/24/welcome-to-mygnuhealth-the-libre-personal-health-record/)

---

MyGNUHealth 1.0 us out! The GNU Health Libre Personal Health Record is now ready for prime time!

This is great news. Great news because citizens around the world have now access to a Free/Libre application, focused on privacy, that puts them in control of their health.

Health is personal, so is the health data. It’s been years since I got the idea of expanding the GNU Health ecosystem, not only to the health professionals and institutions, but making it personal, accessible to individuals. Now is a reality!

Throughout these years, the mobile health (mHealth) has been governed by private companies that benefit from your health data. Private companies, private insurances, proprietary operating systems, proprietary health applications. Big business, no privacy.

The GNU Health ecosystem exists because of Free software. Thanks to communities such as GNU and KDE, we can have fully operational operating systems, desktop environments, databases and programming languages that allow us to use and write free software. GNU Health is one example.

The Libre Software movement fights for the advancement of our societies, by providing universality in computing. In the case of GNU Health, that freedom and equity in computing is applied into the healthcare and social medicine domains. Health is a non-negotiable human right, so it must be health informatics.

What is MyGNUHealth?

MyGNUHealth (MyGH)is a Health Personal Record application focused in privacy, that can be used in desktops and mobile devices.

MyGH embraces the main health domains (*bio-psycho-social*). All the components in the GNU Health ecosystem combine social medicine and primary care with the latest on bioinformatics and precision medicine. The complex interactions between these health domains play a key role in the state of health and disease of an individual, family and society.

MyGH has the functionality of a health and activity tracker, and that of a health diary / record. It records and tracks the main anthropometric and physiological measures, such as weight, blood pressure, blood sugar level or oxygen saturation. It keeps track of your lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and sleep, with numerous charts to visualize the trends.

MyGNUHealth is also a diary, that records all relevant information from the medical and social domain and their context. In the medical domain, you can record your encounters, immunizations, hospitalizations, lab tests,genetic and family history, among others. In the genetic context, MyGH provides a dataset of over 30000 natural variants / SNP from UniProt that are relevant in human. Entering the RefSNP will automatically provide the information about that particular variant and it clinical significance.

The Social domain, contains the key social determinants of health (Social Gradient, Early life development, Stress, Social exclusion, Working conditions, Education, Physical environment, Unemployment, Social Support, Addiction, Food, Transportation, Health services, Family functionality, Family violence, Bullying, War) , most of them from the World Health Organization social determinants of health.

A very important feature of MyGH is that it is GNU Health Federation. That is, if you want to share any of this data with your health professional in real-time, and they will be able to study it.

The PinePhone and the revolution in mobile computing

Of course, in a world of mobile phones and mobile computing, we need free/libre mobile applications. The problem I was facing until recently, that prevented me from writing MyGNUHealth, was the fact that there was no libre mobile environment. The mobile computing market has been dominated by Google and Apple, which both deliver proprietary operating systems, Android and iOS respectively.

The irruption of the Pine64 community was the eye-opener and a game changer. A thriving community of talented people, determined to provide freedom in mobile computing. The Pine64 provides, among others, a smartphone (PinePhone), and a smartwatch (PineTime), and I have adopted both.

I wrote an article some weeks ago (“Liberating our mobile computing”), where I mentioned why I have changed the Android phone to the PinePhone, and my watch to the PineTime.

Does the PinePhone have the best camera? Can we compare the PinePhone with Apple or Google products? It’s hard to compare a multi-billion dollar corporation with a fresh community oriented project. The business model, the technology components and the ethics behind are very different.

So, why making the move? I made the change because we, as a society, need to embrace a technology that is universal and that respects our freedom and privacy. A technology that if focus on the individual and not the corporation. That moves takes determination and commitment. There is a small price to pay, but freedom and privacy are priceless.

As a physician, I need to provide my patients the resources that use state-of-the-art technology, and, at the same time, guarantee the privacy of their sensitive medical information. Libre software and open standards are key in healthcare. When my patients choose free/libre software, they have full control. They also have the possibility to share it with me or with other health professionals, in real-time and with the highest levels of privacy.

We can only manage sensitive health data with technology that respects our privacy. In other words, we can not put our personal information in the hands of corporate interests. Choosing Libre Software and Hardware means much more than just technology. Libre Software means embracing solidarity and cooperation. It means sharing knowledge, code and time with others. It means embracing open science for the advancement of our societies, specially for those that need it most.

MyGNUHealth will be included by default in many operating systems and distributions, so you don’t have to worry about the technical details. Just use your health companion! If your operating system does not have MyGH in their repositories, please ask them to include it.

Governments, institutions, and health professional need affordable technology that respects their citizens freedom. We need you to be part of this eHealth revolution.

Happy and healthy hacking!

About GNUHealth

MyGNUHealth is part of the GNU Health, the Libre digital health ecosystem. GNU Health is from GNU Solidario, a humanitarian, non-for-profit organization focused on the advancement of Social Medicine. GNU Solidario develops health applications and uses exclusively Free/Libre software. GNU Health is an official GNU project

Homepage : https://www.gnuhealth.org
Documentation portal : https://www.gnuhealth.org/docs

Original article: https://meanmicio.org/2021/06/24/welcome-to-mygnuhealth-the-libre-personal-health-record/

24 June, 2021 05:35PM by Luis Falcon

GNU Health

Welcome to MyGNUHealth, the Libre Personal Health Record

MyGNUHealth 1.0 us out! The GNU Health Libre Personal Health Record is now ready for prime time!

This is great news. Great news because citizens around the world have now access to a Free/Libre application, focused on privacy, that puts them in control of their health.

Health is personal, so is the health data. It’s been years since I got the idea of expanding the GNU Health ecosystem, not only to the health professionals and institutions, but making it personal, accessible to individuals. Now is a reality!

Throughout these years, the mobile health (mHealth) has been governed by private companies that benefit from your health data. Private companies, private insurances, proprietary operating systems, proprietary health applications. Big business, no privacy.

MyGNUHealth running on KDE Plasma desktop and Arch Linux

GNU and Libre Software

The GNU Health ecosystem exists because of Free software. Thanks to communities such as GNU, we can have fully operational operating systems, desktop environments, databases and programming languages that allow us to use and write free software. GNU Health is one example.

The Libre Software movement fights for the advancement of our societies, by providing universality in computing. In the case of GNU Health, that freedom and equity in computing is applied into the healthcare and social medicine domains. Health is a non-negotiable human right, so it must be health informatics.

What is MyGNUHealth?

MyGNUHealth (MyGH)is a Health Personal Record application focused in privacy, that can be used in desktops and mobile devices.

MyGH embraces the main health domains (bio-psycho-social). All the components in the GNU Health ecosystem combine social medicine and primary care with the latest on bioinformatics and precision medicine. The complex interactions between these health domains play a key role in the state of health and disease of an individual, family and society.

MyGH has the functionality of a health and activity tracker, and that of a health diary / record. It records and tracks the main anthropometric and physiological measures, such as weight, blood pressure, blood sugar level or oxygen saturation. It keeps track of your lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and sleep, with numerous charts to visualize the trends.

MyGNUHealth is also a diary, that records all relevant information from the medical and social domain and their context. In the medical domain, you can record your encounters, immunizations, hospitalizations, lab tests,genetic and family history, among others. In the genetic context, MyGH provides a dataset of over 30000 natural variants / SNP from UniProt that are relevant in human. Entering the RefSNP will automatically provide the information about that particular variant and it clinical significance.

The Social domain, contains the key social determinants of health (Social Gradient, Early life development, Stress, Social exclusion, Working conditions, Education, Physical environment, Unemployment, Social Support, Addiction, Food, Transportation, Health services, Family functionality, Family violence, Bullying, War) , most of them from the World Health Organization social determinants of health.

A very important feature of MyGH is that it is GNU Health Federation. That is, if you want to share any of this data with your health professional in real-time, and they will be able to study it.

Lifestyle and activity tracker
Social domain and its contexts, along the book of life
Mood and energy assessment
Medical genetics showing the relevant information on a particular natural variant / SNP

The PinePhone and the revolution in mobile computing

Of course, in a world of mobile phones and mobile computing, we need free/libre mobile applications. The problem I was facing until recently, that prevented me from writing MyGNUHealth, was the fact that there was no libre mobile environment. The mobile computing market has been dominated by Google and Apple, which both deliver proprietary operating systems, Android and iOS respectively.

The irruption of the Pine64 community was the eye-opener and a game changer. A thriving community of talented people, determined to provide freedom in mobile computing. The Pine64 provides, among others, a smartphone (PinePhone), and a smartwatch (PineTime), and I have adopted both.

Starting up MyGNUHealth application in the PinePhone
KDE Plasma mobile applications on the PinePhone

I wrote an article some weeks ago (“Liberating our mobile computing”), where I mentioned why I have changed the Android phone to the PinePhone, and my watch to the PineTime.

Does the PinePhone have the best camera? Can we compare the PinePhone with Apple or Google products? It’s hard to compare a multi-billion dollar corporation with a fresh, community-oriented project. The business model, the technology components and the ethics behind are very different.

So, why making the move? I made the change because we, as a society, need to embrace a technology that is universal and that respects our freedom and privacy. A technology that focuses on the individual and not in the corporation. That moves takes determination and commitment. There is a small price to pay, but freedom and privacy are priceless.

Taking MyGNUHealth and the PinePhone to the outdoors.

As a physician, I need to provide my patients the resources that use state-of-the-art technology, and, at the same time, guarantee the privacy of their sensitive medical information. Libre software and open standards are key in healthcare. When my patients choose free/libre software, they have full control. They also have the possibility to share it with me or with other health professionals, in real-time and with the highest levels of privacy.

We can only manage sensitive health data with technology that respects our privacy. In other words, we can not put our personal information in the hands of corporate interests. Choosing Libre Software and Hardware means much more than just technology. Libre Software means embracing solidarity and cooperation. It means sharing knowledge, code and time with others. It means embracing open science for the advancement of our societies, specially for those that need it most.

MyGNUHealth will be included by default in many operating systems and distributions, so you don’t have to worry about the technical details. Just use your health companion! If your operating system does not have MyGH in their repositories, please ask them to include it.

Governments, institutions, and health professional need affordable technology that respects their citizens freedom. We need you to be part of this eHealth revolution.

Happy and healthy hacking!

About GNUHealth:

MyGNUHealth is part of the GNU Health, the Libre digital health ecosystem. GNU Health is from GNU Solidario, a humanitarian, non-for-profit organization focused on the advancement of Social Medicine. GNU Solidario develops health applications and uses exclusively Free/Libre software. GNU Health is an official GNU project.

Homepage : https://www.gnuhealth.org

Documentation portal : https://www.gnuhealth.org/docs

24 June, 2021 02:54PM by Luis Falcon

dejagnu @ Savannah

DejaGnu 1.6.3 released

DejaGnu 1.6.3 was released on 16 June 2021.  Many bugs are fixed in this release and active development is resuming, though perhaps at a slow pace.

24 June, 2021 01:48AM by Jacob Bachmeyer

June 23, 2021

texmacs @ Savannah

TeXmacs 2.1 released

This version of TeXmacs consolidates many developments that took place in the last decade. Most importantly, the interface is now based on Qt, which allowed us develop native versions for Linux, MacOS, and Windows. TeXmacs has evolved from a scientific text editor into a scientific office suite, with an integrated presentation mode, technical drawing editor, versioning tools, bibliography tool, etc. The typesetting quality has continued to improve with a better support of microtypography and a large variety of fonts. The converters for LaTeX and Html have also been further perfected and TeXmacs now comes with a native support for Pdf.

23 June, 2021 12:48PM by Joris van der Hoeven

June 22, 2021

parallel @ Savannah

GNU Parallel 20210622 ('Protasevich') released [stable]

GNU Parallel 20210622 ('Protasevich') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: lbry://@GnuParallel:4

No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.

Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4

It does not have to be as detailed as Juan's. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

Quote of the month:

  GNU Parallel makes my life so much easier.
  I'm glad I don't have to implement multi-threaded Python scripts on the regular.
     -- Fredrick Brennan @fr_brennan@twitter

New in this release:

  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

News about GNU Parallel:

Get the book: GNU Parallel 2018 http://www.lulu.com/shop/ole-tange/gnu-parallel-2018/paperback/product-23558902.html

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

If you like GNU Parallel record a video testimonial: Say who you are, what you use GNU Parallel for, how it helps you, and what you like most about it. Include a command that uses GNU Parallel if you feel like it.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

For example you can run this to convert all jpeg files into png and gif files and have a progress bar:

  parallel --bar convert {1} {1.}.{2} ::: *.jpg ::: png gif

Or you can generate big, medium, and small thumbnails of all jpeg files in sub dirs:

  find . -name '*.jpg' |
    parallel convert -geometry {2} {1} {1//}/thumb{2}_{1/} :::: - ::: 50 100 200

You can find more about GNU Parallel at: http://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with:

    $ (wget -O - pi.dk/3 || lynx -source pi.dk/3 || curl pi.dk/3/ || \
       fetch -o - http://pi.dk/3 ) > install.sh
    $ sha1sum install.sh | grep c82233e7da3166308632ac8c34f850c0
    12345678 c82233e7 da316630 8632ac8c 34f850c0
    $ md5sum install.sh | grep ae3d7aac5e15cf3dfc87046cfc5918d2
    ae3d7aac 5e15cf3d fc87046c fc5918d2
    $ sha512sum install.sh | grep dfc00d823137271a6d96225cea9e89f533ff6c81f
    9c5198d5 31a3b755 b7910ece 3a42d206 c804694d fc00d823 137271a6 d96225ce
    a9e89f53 3ff6c81f f52b298b ef9fb613 2d3f9ccd 0e2c7bd3 c35978b5 79acb5ca
    $ bash install.sh

Watch the intro video on http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your command line will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2018): GNU Parallel 2018, March 2018, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1146014.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ Identi.ca/Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/mailing lists
  • Get the merchandise https://gnuparallel.threadless.com/designs/gnu-parallel
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use programs that use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --citation)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:

About GNU SQL

GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

22 June, 2021 05:30PM by Ole Tange

June 21, 2021

GNU Taler news

Comment émettre une monnaie numérique de banque centrale

Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer la publication de notre article sur "Comment émettre une monnaie numérique de banque centrale" par le Banque nationale suisse.

21 June, 2021 10:00PM

June 18, 2021

GNU Guix

Substitutes now also available from bordeaux.guix.gnu.org

There have been a number of different project operated sources of substitutes, for the last couple of years the default source of substitutes has been ci.guix.gnu.org (with a few different URLs).

Now, in addition to ci.guix.gnu.org, bordeaux.guix.gnu.org is a default substitute server.

Put that way, this development maybe doesn't sound particularly interesting. Why is a second substitute server useful? There's some thoughts on that exact question in the next section. If you're just interested in how to use (or how not to use) substitutes from bordeaux.guix.gnu.org, then you can just skip ahead to the last section.

Why a second source of substitutes?

This change is an important milestone, following on from the work that started on the Guix Build Coordinator towards the start of 2020.

Back in 2020, the substitute availability from ci.guix.gnu.org was often an issue. There seemed to be a number of contributing factors, including some parts of the architecture. Without going too much in to the details of the issues, aspects of the design of the Guix Build Coordinator were specifically meant to avoid some of these issues.

While there were some very positive results from testing back in 2020, it's taken so long to bring the substitute availability benefits to general users of Guix that ci.guix.gnu.org has changed and improved significantly in the meantime. This means that any benefits in terms of substitute availability are less significant now.

One clearer benefit of just having two independent sources of substitutes is redundancy. While the availability of ci.guix.gnu.org has been very high (in my opinion), having a second independent substitute server should mean that if there's a future issue with users accessing either source of substitutes, the disruption should be reduced.

I'm also excited about the new possibilities offered by having a second substitute server, particularly one using the Guix Build Coordinator to manage the builds.

Substitutes for the Hurd is already something that's been prototyped, so I'm hopeful that bordeaux.guix.gnu.org can start using childhurd VMs to build things soon.

Looking a bit further forward, I think there's some benefits to be had in doing further work on how the nar and narinfo files used for substitutes are managed. There are some rough plans already on how to address the retention of nars, and how to look at high performance mirrors.

Having two substitute servers is one step towards stronger trust policies for substitutes (as discussed on guix-devel, where you would only use a substitute if both ci.guix.gnu.org and bordeaux.guix.gnu.org have built it exactly the same. This would help protect against the compromise of a single substitute server.

Using substitutes from bordeaux.guix.gnu.org

If you're using Guix System, and haven't altered the default substitute configuration, updating guix (via guix pull), reconfiguring using the updated guix, and then restarting the guix-daemon should enable substitutes from bordeaux.guix.gnu.org.

If the ACL is being managed manually, you might need to add the public key for bordeaux.guix.gnu.org manually as well.

When using Guix on a foreign distribution with the default substitute configuration, you'll need to run guix pull as root, then restart the guix-daemon. You'll then need to add the public key for bordeaux.guix.gnu.org to the ACL.

guix archive --authorize < /root/.config/guix/current/share/guix/bordeaux.guix.gnu.org.pub

If you want to just use ci.guix.gnu.org, or bordeaux.guix.gnu.org for that matter, you'll need to adjust the substitute urls configuration for the guix-daemon to just refer to the substitute servers you want to use.

18 June, 2021 12:00PM by Christopher Baines

June 17, 2021

gdbm @ Savannah

Version 1.20

Version 1.20 is available for download.

Changes in this version:

New bucket cache

The bucket cache support has been rewritten from scratch.  The new code provides for significant speed up of search operations.

Change in the mmap prereading strategy

Pre-reading of the memory mapper regions, introduced in version 1.19 can be advantageous only when doing intensive look-ups on a read-only
database.  It degrades performance otherwise, especially if doing multiple inserts.  Therefore, this version introduces a new flag
to gdbm_open: GDBM_PREREAD.  When given, it enables pre-reading of memory mapped regions. (details)

17 June, 2021 11:07AM by Sergey Poznyakoff

June 16, 2021

GNU Taler news

How to issue a privacy-preserving central bank digital currency

We are happy to announce the publication of our policy brief on"How to issue a privacy-preserving central bank digital currency" by The European Money and Finance Forum.

16 June, 2021 10:00PM

June 11, 2021

GNU Guix

Reproducible data processing pipelines

Last week, we at Guix-HPC published videos of a workshop on reproducible software environments we organized on-line. The videos are well worth watching—especially if you’re into reproducible research, and especially if you speak French or want to practice. This post, though, is more of a meta-post: it’s about how we processed these videos. “A workshop on reproducibility ought to have a reproducible video pipeline”, we thought. So this is what we did!

From BigBlueButton to WebM

Over the last year and half, perhaps you had the “opportunity” to participate in an on-line conference, or even to organize one. If so, chances are that you already know BigBlueButton (BBB), the free software video conferencing suite initially designed for on-line teaching. In a nutshell, it allows participants to chat (audio, video, and keyboard), and speakers can share their screen or a PDF slide deck. Organizers can also record the session.

BBB then creates a link to recorded sessions with a custom JavaScript player that replays everything: typed chat, audio and video (webcams), shared screens, and slide decks. This BBB replay a bit too rough though and often not the thing you’d like to publish after the conference. Instead, you’d rather do a bit of editing: adjusting the start and end time of each talk, removing live chat from what’s displayed (which allows you to remove info that personally identifies participants, too!), and so forth. Turns out this kind of post-processing is a bit of work, primarily because BBB does “the right thing” of recording each stream separately, in the most appropriate form: webcam and screen shares are recorded as separate videos, chat is recorded as text with timings, slide decks is recorded as a bunch of PNGs plus timings, and then there’s a bunch of XML files with metadata putting it all together.

Anyway, with a bit of searching, we quickly found the handy bbb-render tool, which can first download all these files and then assemble them using the Python interface to the GStreamer Editing Services (GES). Good thing: we don’t have to figure out all these things; we “just” have to run these two scripts in an environment with the right dependencies. And guess what: we know of a great tool to control execution environments!

A “deployment-aware Makefile”

So we have a process that takes input files—those PNGs, videos, and XML files—and produces output files—WebM video files. As developers we immediately recognize a pattern and the timeless tool to deal with it: make. The web already seems to contain countless BBB post-processing makefiles (and shell scripts, too). We were going to contribute to this while we suddenly realized that we know of another great tool to express such processes: Guix! Bonus: while a makefile would address just the tip of the iceberg—running bbb-render—Guix can also take care of the tedious task of deploying the right environment to run bbb-render in.

What we did was to write some sort of a deployment-aware makefile. It’s still a relatively unconventional way to use Guix, but one that’s very convenient. We’re talking about videos, but really, you could use the same approach for any kind of processing graph where you’d be tempted to just use make.

The end result here is a Guix file that returns a manifest—a list of videos to “build”. You can build the videos with:

guix build -m render-videos.scm

Overall, the file defines a bunch of functions (procedures in traditional Scheme parlance), each of which takes input files and produces output files. More accurately, these functions returns objects that describe how to build their output from the input files—similar to how a makefile rule describes how to build its target(s) from its prerequisite(s). (The reader familiar with functional programming may recognize a monad here, and indeed, those build descriptions can be thought of as monadic values in a hypothetical “Guix build” monad; technically though, they’re regular Scheme values.)

Let’s take a guided tour of this 300-line file.

Rendering

The first step in this file describes where bbb-render can be found and how to run it to produce a GES “project” file, which we’ll use later to render the video:

(define bbb-render
  (origin
    (method git-fetch)
    (uri (git-reference (url "https://github.com/plugorgau/bbb-render")
                        (commit "a3c10518aedc1bd9e2b71a4af54903adf1d972e5")))
    (file-name "bbb-render-checkout")
    (sha256
     (base32 "1sf99xp334aa0qgp99byvh8k39kc88al8l2wy77zx7fyvknxjy98"))))

(define rendering-profile
  (profile
   (content (specifications->manifest
             '("gstreamer" "gst-editing-services" "gobject-introspection"
               "gst-plugins-base" "gst-plugins-good"
               "python-wrapper" "python-pygobject" "python-intervaltree")))))

(define* (video-ges-project bbb-data start end
                            #:key (webcam-size 25))
  "Return a GStreamer Editing Services (GES) project for the video,
starting at START seconds and ending at END seconds.  BBB-DATA is the raw
BigBlueButton directory as fetched by bbb-render's 'download.py' script.
WEBCAM-SIZE is the percentage of the screen occupied by the webcam."
  (computed-file "video.ges"
                 (with-extensions (list (specification->package "guile-gcrypt"))
                  (with-imported-modules (source-module-closure
                                          '((guix build utils)
                                            (guix profiles)))
                    #~(begin
                        (use-modules (guix build utils) (guix profiles)
                                     (guix search-paths) (ice-9 match))

                        (define search-paths
                          (profile-search-paths #+rendering-profile))

                        (for-each (match-lambda
                                    ((spec . value)
                                     (setenv
                                      (search-path-specification-variable
                                       spec)
                                      value)))
                                  search-paths)

                        (invoke "python"
                                #+(file-append bbb-render "/make-xges.py")
                                #+bbb-data #$output
                                "--start" #$(number->string start)
                                "--end" #$(number->string end)
                                "--webcam-size"
                                #$(number->string webcam-size)))))))

First it defines the source code location of bbb-render as an “origin”. Second, it defines rendering-profile as a “profile” containing all the packages needed to run bbb-render’s make-xges.py script. The specification->manifest procedure creates a manifest from a set of packages specs, and likewise specification->package returns the package that matches a given spec. You can try these things at the guix repl prompt:

$ guix repl
GNU Guile 3.0.7
Copyright (C) 1995-2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Guile comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `,show w'.
This program is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type `,show c' for details.

Enter `,help' for help.
scheme@(guix-user)> ,use(guix profiles)
scheme@(guix-user)> ,use(gnu)
scheme@(guix-user)> (specification->package "guile@2.0")
$1 = #<package guile@2.0.14 gnu/packages/guile.scm:139 7f416be776e0>
scheme@(guix-user)> (specifications->manifest '("guile" "gstreamer" "python"))
$2 = #<<manifest> entries: (#<<manifest-entry> name: "guile" version: "3.0.7" …> #<<manifest-entry> name: "gstreamer" version: "1.18.2" …> …)

Last, it defines video-ges-project as a function that takes the BBB raw data, a start and end time, and produces a video.ges file. There are three key elements here:

  1. computed-file is a function to produce a file, video.ges in this case, by running the code you give it as its second argument—the recipe, in makefile terms.
  2. The recipe passed to computed-file is a G-expression (or “gexp”), introduced by this fancy #~ (hash tilde) notation. G-expressions are a way to stage code, to mark it for eventual execution. Indeed, that code will only be executed if and when we run guix build (without --dry-run), and only if the result is not already in the store.
  3. The gexp refers to rendering-profile, to bbb-render, to bbb-data and so on by escaping with the #+ or #$ syntax (they’re equivalent, unless doing cross-compilation). During build, these reference items in the store, such as /gnu/store/…-bbb-render, which is itself the result of “building” the origin we’ve seen above. The #$output reference corresponds to the build result of this computed-file, the complete file name of video.ges under /gnu/store.

That’s quite a lot already! Of course, this real-world example is more intimidating than the toy examples you’d find in the manual, but really, pretty much everything’s there. Let’s see in more detail at what’s inside this gexp.

The gexp first imports a bunch of helper modules with build utilities and tools to manipulate profiles and search path environment variables. The for-each call iterates over search path environment variables—PATH, PYTHONPATH, and so on—, setting them so that the python command is found and so that the needed Python modules are found.

The with-imported-modules form above indicates that the (guix build utils) and (guix profiles) modules, which are part of Guix, along with their dependencies (their closure), need to be imported in the build environment. What about with-extensions? Those (guix …) module indirectly depend on additional modules, provided by the guile-gcrypt package, hence this spec.

Next comes the ges->webm function which, as the name implies, takes a .ges file and produces a WebM video file by invoking ges-launch-1.0. The end result is a video containing the recording’s audio, the webcam and screen share (or slide deck), but not the chat.

Opening and closing

We have a WebM video, so we’re pretty much done, right? But… we’d also like to have an opening, showing the talk title and the speaker’s name, as well as a closing. How do we get that done?

Perhaps a bit of a sledgehammer, but it turns out that we chose to produce those still images with LaTeX/Beamer, from these templates.

We need again several processing steps:

  1. We first define the latex->pdf function that takes a template .tex file, a speaker name and title. It copies the template, replaces placeholders with the speaker name and title, and runs pdflatex to produce the PDF.
  2. The pdf->bitmap function takes a PDF and returns a suitably-sized JPEG.
  3. image->webm takes that JPEG and invokes ffmpeg to render it as WebM, with the right resolution, frame rate, and audio track.

With that in place, we define a sweet and small function that produces the opening WebM file for a given talk:

(define (opening title speaker)
  (image->webm
   (pdf->bitmap (latex->pdf (local-file "opening.tex") "opening.pdf"
                            #:title title #:speaker speaker)
                "opening.jpg")
   "opening.webm" #:duration 5))

We need one last function, video-with-opening/closing, that given a talk, an opening, and a closing, concatenates them by invoking ffmpeg.

Putting it all together

Now we have all the building blocks!

We use local-file to refer to the raw BBB data, taken from disk:

(define raw-bbb-data/monday
  ;; The raw BigBlueButton data as returned by './download.py URL', where
  ;; 'download.py' is part of bbb-render.
  (local-file "bbb-video-data.monday" "bbb-video-data"
              #:recursive? #t))

(define raw-bbb-data/tuesday
  (local-file "bbb-video-data.tuesday" "bbb-video-data"
              #:recursive? #t))

No, the raw data is not in the Git repository (it’s too big and contains personally-identifying information about participants), so this assumes that there’s a bbb-video-data.monday and a bbb-video-data.tuesday in the same directory as render-videos.scm.

For good measure, we define a <talk> data type:

(define-record-type <talk>
  (talk title speaker start end cam-size data)
  talk?
  (title     talk-title)
  (speaker   talk-speaker)
  (start     talk-start)           ;start time in seconds
  (end       talk-end)             ;end time
  (cam-size  talk-webcam-size)     ;percentage used for the webcam
  (data      talk-bbb-data))       ;BigBlueButton data

… such that we can easily define talks, along with talk->video, which takes a talk and return a complete, final video:

(define (talk->video talk)
  "Given a talk, return a complete video, with opening and closing."
  (define file-name
    (string-append (canonicalize-string (talk-speaker talk))
                   ".webm"))

  (let ((raw (ges->webm (video-ges-project (talk-bbb-data talk)
                                           (talk-start talk)
                                           (talk-end talk)
                                           #:webcam-size
                                           (talk-webcam-size talk))
                        file-name))
        (opening (opening (talk-title talk) (talk-speaker talk))))
    (video-with-opening/closing file-name raw
                                opening closing.webm)))

The very last bit iterates over the talks and returns a manifest containing all the final videos. Now we can build the ready-to-be-published videos, all at once:

$ guix build -m render-videos.scm
[… time passes…]
/gnu/store/…-emmanuel-agullo.webm
/gnu/store/…-francois-rue.webm
…

Voilà!

Image of an old TV screen showing a video opening.

Why all the fuss?

OK, maybe you’re thinking “this is just another hackish script to fiddle with videos”, and that’s right! It’s also worth mentioning another approach: Racket’s video language, which is designed to manipulate video abstractions, similar to GES but with a sweet high-level functional interface.

But look, this one’s different: it’s self-contained, it’s reproducible, and it has the right abstraction level. Self-contained is a big thing; it means you can run it and it knows what software to deploy, what environment variables to set, and so on, for each step of the pipeline. Granted, it could be simplified with appropriate high-level interfaces in Guix. But remember: the alternative is a makefile (“deployment-unaware”) completed by a README file giving a vague idea of the dependencies needed. The reproducible bit is pretty nice too (especially for a workshop on reproducibility). It also means there’s caching: videos or intermediate byproducts already in the store don’t need to be recomputed. Last, we have access to a general-purpose programming language where we can build abstractions, such as the <talk> data type, that makes the whole thing more pleasant to work with and more maintainable.

Hopefully that’ll inspire you to have a reproducible video pipeline for your next on-line event, or maybe that’ll inspire you to replace your old makefile and shelly habits for data processing!

High-performance computing (HPC) people might be wondering how to go from here and build “computing-resource-aware” or “storage-resource-aware” pipelines where each computing step could be submitted to the job scheduler of an HPC cluster and use distributed file systems for intermediate results rather than /gnu/store. If you’re one of these folks, do take a look at how the Guix Workflow Language addresses these issues.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Konrad Hinsen for valuable feedback on an earlier draft.

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is a transactional package manager and an advanced distribution of the GNU system that respects user freedom. Guix can be used on top of any system running the Hurd or the Linux kernel, or it can be used as a standalone operating system distribution for i686, x86_64, ARMv7, AArch64 and POWER9 machines.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. When used as a standalone GNU/Linux distribution, Guix offers a declarative, stateless approach to operating system configuration management. Guix is highly customizable and hackable through Guile programming interfaces and extensions to the Scheme language.

11 June, 2021 05:00PM by Ludovic Courtès

June 09, 2021

www-zh-cn @ Savannah

Welcome our new member - jiderlesi

Dear www-zh-cn-translators:

It's a good time to welcome our new member:

User Details:
 -------------
Name:    Yuqi Feng
Login:   jiderlesi
Email:   jiderlesi@outlook.de <mailto:jiderlesi@outlook.de>

We thank jiderlesi for her/his commitment for contributing to GNU Chinese Translation.
We wish jiderlesi has a wonderful and successful free journey.

09 June, 2021 07:41AM by Wensheng XIE

June 07, 2021

GNU Health

IFMSA Bangladesh joins the GNU Health Alliance

The non-profit organization with 3500+ medical students and 65 universities across the country is now part of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions
The non-profit organization with 3500+ medical students and 65 universities across the country is now part of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions

It’s a great day for Bangladesh. It’s a great day for public health! Today, GNU Solidario and the International Federation of Medical Students Association, IFMSA Bangladesh, have signed an initial 5-year partnership on the grounds of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions.

IFMSA Bangladesh is a non-for-profit, non-political organization that comprises 3500+ medical students from over 65 schools of Medicine across Bangladesh. They are a solid organization, very well organized, with different standing committees and support divisions.

IFMSA vision and mission fits very well with those of GNU Solidario advancement of Social Medicine. IFMSA has projects on Public Health (reproductive health; personal hygiene; cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention, … ), Human rights and peace (campaigns to end violence against women; protection of the underprivileged elders and children.. ). I am positive the GNU Health ecosystem will help them reach their goals in each of their projects!

The GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions is extremely happy to have IFMSA Bangladesh as a member. IFMSA Bangladesh joins now a group of outstanding researchers and institutions that have made phenomenal advancements in health informatics and contributions to public health. Some examples:

  • The National University of Entre Ríos (UNER) has been awarded the project to use GNU Health as a real-time observatory for the COVID-19 pandemic, by the Government of Argentina. In the context of the GNU Health Alliance, UNER has also developed the oral health package for GNU Health; and implemented the GNU Health Hospital Management Information System component in many public health care institutions in the country. The team from the UNER has traveled to Cameroon to implement GNU Health HMIS in several health facilities in the country, as well as training their health professionals.
  • Thymbra Healthcare (R&D Labs) has contributed the medical genetics and precision medicine. Currently, Thymbra is focused on MyGNUHealth, the GNU Health Personal Health Record (PHR) for KDE plasma mobile and desktops devices, and working on the integration of MyGNUHealth with the PinePhone.
  • Khadas has signed an agreement to work on with the GNU Health community in Artificial Intelligence and medical imaging, as well on integrating Single Board Computers (SBCs) with GNU Health (the GNU Health in a Box project)

The fact that an association of 3500+ medical students embrace GNU Health means that all these bright future doctors from Bangladesh will also bear the ethics and philosophy of Libre Software to their communities. Public Health can not be run by private corporations, nor by proprietary software.

IFMSA has 5 years ahead to make a wonderful revolution in the public health care system. Health institutions will be able to implement state-of-the-art health informatics. Medical students can learn GNU Health inside-out, and conduct workshops across the country in the Libre digital health ecosystem. Most importantly, I am positive GNU Health will provide a wonderful opportunity to improve the health promotion and disease prevention campaigns in Bangladesh.

As the president of GNU Solidario, I am truly honored and looking forward to start collaborating with our colleagues from Bangladesh, and, when the pandemic is over, be able to meet them in person.

My most sincere appreciation to IFMSA Bangladesh for becoming part of the GNU Health community. To the 3500+ members, a very warm welcome!

Let’s keep building communities that foster universal health care, freedom and social medicine around the world.

For further information about the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions, please contact us at:

GNU Health Alliance: alliance@gnuhealth.org

Press: press@gnuhealth.org

General Information : info@gnuhealth.org

07 June, 2021 06:44PM by Luis Falcon

edma @ Savannah

GNU/EDMA 0.19.1. Alpha Release

GNU/EDMA 0.19.1 has been released as an Alpha Version. This version tries to fix the long standing issue with 64bits platforms.

In order to fix that problem this version adds a dependency on `libffi`.

This is an alpha release and it is still under test and can be downloaded from:

http://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/edma/

Any feedback or comment is welcomed

Best Regards
David

07 June, 2021 07:14AM by David Martínez Oliveira

June 05, 2021

gsl @ Savannah

GNU Scientific Library 2.7 released

Version 2.7 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C.

This release introduces some new features and fixes several bugs. The full NEWS file entry is appended below.

The file details for this release are:

ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gsl/gsl-2.7.tar.gz
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gsl/gsl-2.7.tar.gz.sig

The GSL project homepage is http://www.gnu.org/software/gsl/

GSL is free software distributed under the GNU General Public License.

Thanks to everyone who reported bugs and contributed improvements.

Patrick Alken

-------------------------------

  • What is new in gsl-2.7:
    • fixed doc bug for gsl_histogram_min_bin (lhcsky at 163.com)
    • fixed bug #60335 (spmatrix test failure, J. Lamb)
    • clarified documentation on interpolation accelerators (V. Krishnan)
    • fixed bug #45521 (erroneous GSL_ERROR_NULL in ode-initval2, thanks to M. Sitte)
    • added support for native C complex number types in gsl_complex when using a C11 compiler
    • upgraded to autoconf 2.71, automake 1.16.3, libtool 2.4.6
    • updated exponential fitting example for nonlinear least squares
    • added banded LU decomposition and solver (gsl_linalg_LU_band)
    • New functions added to the library:

    - gsl_matrix_norm1
    - gsl_spmatrix_norm1
    - gsl_matrix_complex_conjtrans_memcpy
    - gsl_linalg_QL: decomp, unpack
    - gsl_linalg_complex_QR_* (thanks to Christian Krueger)
    - gsl_vector_sum
    - gsl_matrix_scale_rows
    - gsl_matrix_scale_columns
    - gsl_multilarge_linear_matrix_ptr
    - gsl_multilarge_linear_rhs_ptr
    - gsl_spmatrix_dense_add (renamed from gsl_spmatrix_add_to_dense)
    - gsl_spmatrix_dense_sub
    - gsl_linalg_cholesky_band: solvem, svxm, scale, scale_apply
    - gsl_linalg_QR_UD: decomp, lssolve
    - gsl_linalg_QR_UU: decomp, lssolve,QTvec
    - gsl_linalg_QR_UZ: decomp
    - gsl_multifit_linear_lcurvature
    - gsl_spline2d_eval_extrap

    • bug fix in checking vector lengths in gsl_vector_memcpy (dieggsy@pm.me)
    • made gsl_sf_legendre_array_index() inline and documented gsl_sf_legendre_nlm()|

05 June, 2021 03:02PM by Patrick Alken

poke @ Savannah

GNU poke 1.3 released

I am happy to announce a new release of GNU poke, version 1.3.

This is a bug fix release in the poke 1.x series.

See the file NEWS in the released tarball for a detailed list of
changes in this release.

The tarball poke-1.3.tar.gz is now available at
https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/poke/poke-1.3.tar.gz.

  GNU poke (http://www.jemarch.net/poke) is an interactive, extensible
  editor for binary data.  Not limited to editing basic entities such
  as bits and bytes, it provides a full-fledged procedural,
  interactive programming language designed to describe data
  structures and to operate on them.

This release is the product of a month of work resulting in 41
commits, made by 4 contributors.

Thanks to the people who contributed with code and/or documentation to
this release.  In certain but no significant order they are:

  Mohammad-Reza Nabipoor <m.nabipoor@yahoo.com>
  Egeyar Bagcioglu <egeyar@gmail.com>
  Konstantinos Chasialis <sdi1600195@di.uoa.gr> 

As always, thank you all!

And this is all for now.
Happy poking!

--
Jose E. Marchesi
Frankfurt am Main
5 June 2021

05 June, 2021 10:55AM by Jose E. Marchesi

June 04, 2021

GNU Health

Liberating our mobile computing

Last week I got the PineTime, a free/libre smartwatch. In the past months, I’ve been working on MyGNUHealth and porting it to the PinePhone.

Why doing so? Because running free/libre operating systems and having control of the applications on your mobile phones and wearables is the right thing to do.

Yesterday, I told myself: “This is the day to move away from Android and take control over my phone”. And I made the switch. Now I am using a PinePhone on Manjaro running KDE plasma mobile. I have also switched my smartwatch to the PineTime.

The mobile phone and smartwatch were the last pieces of hardware and software to liberate. All my computing is now libre. No proprietary operating systems, no closed-source applications. Not on my laptop, not in my desktop, not on my phone.

Facing and overcoming the social pressure

At the moment I ditched Android, I felt an immense sense of relief and happiness. It took me back 30 years ago, early FreeBSD and GNU/Linux times, being in control of every component of my computer.

We can not put our daily life activities, electronic transactions and data in the hands of the corporations. Android phones shipped today are full of “bloatware” and closed-source applications. We can safely call most of those applications spyware.

The PinePhone is a libre computer, with a phone. All the applications are Libre Software. I have SSH, most of the cool KDE plasma applications I enjoy in the desktop, I can have them now in my pocket. Again, most importantly, I am free.

Of course, freedom comes with a price. The price to face social and corporate pressure. For instance, somebody asked me yesterday how to deal with banking without the app. My answer was, I never used an app for banking. Running a proprietary financial application is shooting at the heart of your privacy. If your bank does not let you do your transactions from any standard web browser, then change your bank. Quick digression… the financial system and the big technological corporations are desperately trying to get rid of good all coins and bills. This is yet another attack on our privacy. Nobody needs to know when, where and what I buy.

A brighter future depends on us

Some people might argue that this technology might not be ready for prime time, yet. I would say that I am ok with it, and the more we join, the more feedback we provide, and the better end result we’ll get.

The Pine64 project is mainly a community-oriented ecosystem. Its hardware, operating system and applications are from the community and for the community. I am developing MyGNUHealth Personal Health Record to be run on KDE Plasma, both for desktop and for the PinePhone and other Libre mobile devices. It is my commitment with freedom, privacy and universal healthcare to deliver health informatics in Libre, privacy focused platforms that anyone can adopt.

MyGNUHealth Personal Health Record running on the Desktop and on the PinePhone. The PineTime smartwatch as the next companion for MyGNUHealth. All these components are privacy focused, Free/Libre Software and hardware.

It depends on you to be prisoner of the corporation and massive surveillance systems, or to be in full control of your programming, health information and life. It takes commitment to achieve it… some components might be too bleeding edge or the camera might not have the highest resolutions and you won’t have the Whatsapp “app” (removing that application would actually be a blessing). It’s a very small price to pay for freedom and privacy. It’s a very small price to pay for the advancement of our society.

InfiniTime firmware upgrade using Siglo.

It’s been many years since I’ve been in the look out for a truly libre phone. After many projects that succumbed, the PinePhone is the first one that has gained momentum. Please support the PinePhone project. Support KDE plasma mobile. Support Arch, Manjaro, openSUSE, FreeBSD or your favorite Libre operating system. Support those who make Libre convergent applications that can be run on mobile devices, like Kirigami. Support InfiniTime and any free/libre firmware for smartwatches, as well as their companions as Siglo or Amazfish.

The future of Libre mobile computing is now, more than ever, in your hands.

Happy and healthy hacking.

04 June, 2021 03:45PM by Luis Falcon

May 30, 2021

gnuastro @ Savannah

Gnuastro 0.15 released

The 15th release of Gnuastro is now available. See the full announcement for more.

30 May, 2021 11:41PM by Mohammad Akhlaghi

May 29, 2021

m4 @ Savannah