The Linux Foundation Says We Should ‘Celebrate’ Microsoft Buying GitHub

github logoNot everyone is thrilled by news that Microsoft is buying Github — and you might think the Linux Foundation is among them. Well, it isn’t. The head of the Linux Foundation says the Microsoft snapping up GitHub is “good news” for the open source community. He also reckons that, rather than sneer about it, we ought to “celebrate […]

This post, The Linux Foundation Says We Should ‘Celebrate’ Microsoft Buying GitHub, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific
Partnership (CPTPP)
is an enormous (roughly 6,000-page) treaty
between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that was signed in Chile on
March 8, 2018. So far, only Mexico and Japan have ratified it. CPTPP is almost
identical to the original TPP, which included those 11 countries plus
the United States. In early 2017, the US withdrew from the treaty,
which its President had previously described as a “terrible deal”.

CPTPP has many provisions of concern to the FOSS industries and
communities in those countries. Open
Source Industry Australia (OSIA)

has raised a number of those issues with an Australian Senate
committee’s inquiry into CPTPP (see “CPTPP could still destroy
the Australian FOSS industry”
and “Submission to the
Senate Standing Committee
on Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade
regarding the ‘Comprehensive & Progressive
agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership'”
). The figure below shows the
likely consequences of one such provision, Art. 14.17 in the Electronic
Commerce Chapter
, which deals with transfer of or access to source

Linux Journal readers may be particularly concerned about one of those
consequences: FOSS authors in the 11 CPTPP countries may lose the
ability to use the courts to enforce the copyleft terms in licences such
as the GPL.

To what extent that happens will depend on how each country decides two
questions of legal interpretation: first, whether FOSS licences
constitute “commercially negotiated contracts”; and second, how
significant the omission of “enforcement” from the list of conditional
actions in the provision may be.

At least some adverse consequences of Art. 14.17 are likely in any
countries that ratify CPTPP regardless of the interpretation taken, and
the risk of the more severe consequences in those countries seems

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BrowserStack Announces Enhanced Open-Source Program, EU's Web Censorship Plan, Qt for Python Now Available and More

News briefs for June 13, 2018.

BrowserStack this morning announced its enhanced open source
program, which offers free testing of open source software on the BrowserStack
Real Device Cloud. The press release states that “BrowserStack is doubling down on its support for open
source projects with full and unlimited access to the BrowserStack platform
and its capabilities. The goal is to empower open source developers with the
tools and infrastructure necessary to test with speed, accuracy and scale.”
See the BrowserStack blog post “Supporting
Open Source to Drive Community Innovation”
for more on BrowserStack’s
commitment to open source.

Act now to stop the EU’s web censorship plan. The Legal Affairs Committee of
the European Parliament is voting on June 20 on the proposed reform of EU
copyright rules. According to the Creative
Commons story
, “the final copyright directive will have deep and lasting
effects on the ability to create and share, to access and use education and
research, and to support and grow diverse content platforms and information
services. As it stands now, the copyright reform—especially Article
13—is a direct threat to the open web.” If you’re in the EU, you can go
to and ask Members of the European
Parliament to delete Article 13 from the copyright directive.

The first official release of Qt for Python (Pyside2) is now available.
It’s based on Qt 5.11, and the project will follow the general Qt release
schedule and versions. It’s available for open-source and commercial Qt
Development users. See the Qt blog
for more details and links to download packages.

Notepad++ is now available as a Snap package for Linux, It’s FOSS reports. The
package actually runs through Wine, but you don’t need to set up Wine first.
For Ubuntu users, Notepad++ is available in the Software Center.

Facebook has released its Sonar debugging tool to the Open Source
community, ZDNet
. Sonar was developed by Facebook engineers “to help them manage
the social network, including the implementation of new features, bug
hunting, and performance optimization.” By releasing Sonar, the hope is to
give programmers a tool to help accelerate app development
and deployment.

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Linux Gets Loud

Exploring the current state of musical Linux with interviews of developers
of popular packages.

Linux is ready for prime time when it comes to music production. New
offerings from Linux audio developers are pushing creative and technical
boundaries. And, with the maturity of the Linux desktop and growth of
standards-based hardware setups, making music with Linux has never
been easier.

Linux always has had a place for musicians looking for inexpensive
rigs to record and create music, but historically, it’s been a pain to
maintain. Digging through arcane documentation and deciphering man pages
is not something that interests many musicians.

Loading up Linux is not as intimidating as it once was, and a helpful
community is going strong. Beyond tinkering types looking for cheap beats,
users range in experience and skill. Linux is still the underdog when
it comes to its reputation for thin creative applications though.

Recently, musically inclined Linux developers have turned out a variety
of new and updated software packages for both production and creative
uses. From full-fledged DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), to robust
soft-synths and versatile effects platforms, the OSS audio ecosystem
is healthy.

A surge in technology-focused academic music programs has brought a
fresh crop of software-savvy musicians into the fold. The modular synth
movement also has nurtured an interest in how sound is made and encouraged curiosity
about the technology behind it.

One of the biggest hurdles in the past was the lack of core drivers for
the wide variety of outboard gear used by music producers. With USB 2.0
and improvements in ALSA and JACK, more hardware became available for
use. Companies slowly have opened their systems to third-party developers,
allowing more low-level drivers to be built.


In terms of raw horsepower, the ubiquity of multicore processors
and cheap RAM has enabled Linux to take advantage of powerful
machines. Specifically, multithreaded software design available to
developers in the Linux kernel offer audio packages that offload DSP and UI
to various cores. Beyond OS multithreading, music software devs have
taken advantage of this in a variety of ways.

A well known API called Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) handles multiple
inter-application connections as well as audio hardware communication
with a multithreaded approach, enabling low latency with both audio
DSP and MIDI connections.

Ardour has leveraged multithreaded processing for some time. In early
versions, it was used to distribute audio processing and the main interface
and OS interaction to separate cores. Now it offers powerful parallel
rendering on a multitude of tracks with complex effects.

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