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All Things Open 2018 – How To Jump Start a Career in Open Source (video)

All Things Open 2018 – How To Jump Start a Career in Open Source (video)

Last October I was in Raleigh, North Carolina speaking at All Things Open.  I gave a lightning talk on how to jump start a career in open source, in just 6 minutes.

The topic is near and dear to my heart, so as a lightning talk it was fun to promote the full session I gave earlier this Summer in one of the most amazing venues I’ve ever spoken at.

The talk includes links to the recording of that venue and the complete story I told. After the talk I posted the slides, but we’ve been waiting on the video recording of the session and it’s arrived!

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XML Language Server and the VSCode Extension

XML Language Server and the VSCode Extension

 

For my first and ongoing project as an intern at Red Hat, I’ve been working alongside Angelo Zerr and Fred Bricon to develop an implementation of the Language Server Protocol (LSP) for XML. Through the XML language server,  developer tools like VSCode and Eclipse receive XML syntax highlighting and checking, code completion, document folding, etc.  At the moment we appear to have the most feature rich XML language server implementation, including our Schema-based support which is an essential XML feature that we are most proud of. Combined, all these features make it much easier for developers to work on any type of project involving XML, from the comfort of their favorite editor or IDE.

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The Non-complexity of /etc/nsswitch.conf

The Non-complexity of /etc/nsswitch.conf

In most glibc-based operating systems, there’s a file /etc/nsswitch.conf that most people ignore, few people understand, but all people generally rely on. This file determines where the system finds things like host names, passwords, and protocol numbers. Does your company use LDAP? NIS? Plain files? The nsswitch file (it stands for “name services switch”) tells the system what service to use for each type of name lookup.

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Why you should care about RISC-V

Why you should care about RISC-V

If you haven’t heard about the RISC-V (pronounced “risk five”) processor, it’s an open-source (open-hardware, open-design) processor core created by the University of Berkeley. It exists in 32-bit, 64-bit, and 128-bit variants, although only 32- and 64-bit designs exist in practice. The news is full of stories about major hardware manufacturers (Western Digital, NVidia) looking at or choosing RISC-V cores for their product.

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Reducing the startup overhead of SystemTap monitoring scripts with syscall_any tapset

Reducing the startup overhead of SystemTap monitoring scripts with syscall_any tapset

A number of the SystemTap script examples in the newly released SystemTap 4.0 available in Fedora 28 and 29 have reduced the amount of time required to convert the scripts into running instrumentation by using the syscall_any tapset.

This article discusses the particular changes made in the scripts and how you might also use this new tapset to make the instrumentation that monitors system calls smaller and more efficient. (This article is a follow-on to my previous article: Analyzing and reducing SystemTap’s startup cost for scripts.)

The key observation that triggered the creation of the syscall_any tapset was a number of scripts that did not use the syscall arguments. The scripts often used syscall.* and syscall.*.return, but they were only concerned with the particular syscall name and the return value. This type of information for all the system calls is available from the sys_entry and sys_exit kernel tracepoints. Thus, rather than creating hundreds of kprobes for each of the individual functions implementing the various system calls, there are just a couple of tracepoints being used in their place.

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The future of Java and OpenJDK updates without Oracle support

The future of Java and OpenJDK updates without Oracle support

Oracle recently announced that it would no longer supply free (as in beer) binary downloads for JDK releases after a six-month period, and neither would Oracle engineers write patches for OpenJDK bugs after that period. This has caused a great deal of concern among some Java users.

From my point of view, this is little more than business as usual. Several years ago, the OpenJDK 6 updates (jdk6u) project was relinquished by Oracle and I assumed leadership, and then the same happened with OpenJDK 7. Subsequently, Andrew Brygin of Azul took over the leadership of OpenJDK 6. The OpenJDK Vulnerability Group, with members from many organizations, collaborates on critical security issues. With the help of the wider OpenJDK community and my team at Red Hat, we have continued to provide updates for critical bugs and security vulnerabilities at regular intervals. I can see no reason why this process should not work in the same way for OpenJDK 8 and the next long-term support release, OpenJDK 11.

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Firewalld: The Future is nftables

Firewalld: The Future is nftables

Firewalld, the default firewall management tool in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, has gained long sought support for nftables. This was announced in detail on firewalld’s project blog. The feature landed in the firewalld 0.6.0 release as the new default firewall backend.

The benefits of nftables have been outlined on the Red Hat Developer Blog:

There are many longstanding issues with firewalld that we can address with nftables that were not possible with the old iptables backend. The nftables backend allows the following improvements:

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Collaboration in open source license enforcement — a community movement is happening

Collaboration in open source license enforcement — a community movement is happening

[We are reposting on the Red Hat Developers blog this article from the Red Hat blog, which was written by David Levine, assistant general counsel at Red Hat.]

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”

This was Abraham Lincoln speaking in the mid-1800s but his advice is still relevant today. Litigation is almost always a poor tool for fostering collaboration, whether among neighbors or software developers.

In approaching the topic of open source license enforcement, it is important to consider Lincoln’s advice. Collaboration during open source license enforcement is a key to successful compliance just as it is an important element to success in the software development process. In assessing license enforcement tactics, you need to ask whether they will foster greater collaboration in open source software development. If the ultimate result of excessive or abusive enforcement is that developers and enterprises are turned off from participating in upstream open source communities, the ecosystems will wither and we all suffer as a result.

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GNU Toolchain Update – Spring 2018

GNU Toolchain Update – Spring 2018

The GNU Toolchain is a collection of programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low-level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a series (see: Fall 2017 Update) covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain. Apart from the announcement of new releases, the features described here are at the bleeding edge of software development in the tools. This means that it may be awhile before they make it into production releases, and they might not be fully functional yet. But anyone who is interested in experimenting with them can build their own copy of the Toolchain and then try them out.

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