Design and Web team summary – 20 February 2019

Snapcraft squad

Report a Snap

Last year, a snap was found in the Snap Store using computing resources for bitcoin mining without user consent. This software was retired from the Store after further investigation and highlighted the need for snapcraft.io users to report potential snaps violating trademark, copyright or terms and conditions of the store.

How selecting the right Linux OS expedites IoT time to market

With a proliferation of related hardware, software and solutions being rushed out to capture the promise of a multi-billion dollar IoT industry, vendors are under pressure to decrease their development time and speed up their time to market. Choices such as selecting the right infrastructure from the outset become even more important during the development stage to avoid friction once a product is market ready, or worse, out in the field.

GNOME presence in SCALE 17x

SCaLE 17x – is the largest community-run open-source and free software conference in North America – which will take place on March. 7-10, 2019, at the Pasadena Convention Center. 

This event expects to host 150 exhibitors this year, along with nearly 130 sessions, tutorials and special events.

KDE is adding Matrix to its IM framework

KDE is adopting non-proprietary and decentralized instant messaging services and is now running its own community-managed instance of Matrix.

Matrix works fine on mobile as well.

KDE has been looking for a better way of chatting and live-sharing information for several years now. IRC has been a good solution for a long time, but it has centralized servers KDE cannot control. It is also insecure and lacks features users have come to expect from more modern IM services. Other alternatives, such as Telegram, Slack and Discord, although feature-rich, are centralized and built around closed-source technologies and offer even less control than IRC. This flies in the face of KDE's principles that require we use and support technologies based on Free software.

However, our search for a better solution has finally come to an end: as of today we are officially using Matrix for collaboration within KDE! Matrix is an open protocol and network for decentralised communication, backed by an open standard and open source reference implementations for servers, clients, client SDKs, bridges, bots and more. It provides all the features you’d expect from a modern chat system: infinite scrollback, file transfer, typing notifications, read receipts, presence, search, push notifications, stickers, VoIP calling and conferencing, etc. It even provides end-to-end encryption (based on Signal’s double ratchet algorithm) for when you want some privacy.

All the existing rooms on Matrix (and their counterparts on IRC, Telegram and elsewhere) continue to exist. The new service provides a dedicated server for KDE users to access them using names like #kde:kde.org.

For more information go visit our wiki page which contains details and instructions on how to get started.

You can also try KDE's Matrix service right now by checking in to KDE's webchat or by installing a Matrix client like Riot and connecting to the kde.modular.im server!

Easy IoT with Ubuntu Core and Raspberry Pi

Easy IoT with Ubuntu Core and Pi
Easy IoT with Ubuntu Core and Pi

My current job involves me mostly working in the upper layers of the
desktop software stack however I started out working in what was then
called embedded engineering but now would probably be know as the
Internet of Things (IoT). I worked on a number of projects which

Updated Debian 9: 9.8 released

The Debian project is pleased to announce the eighth update of its
stable distribution Debian 9 (codename stretch).
This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues,
along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories
have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

The forecast is robots

why your next robot should run Ubuntu Core, ROS Industrial 2018
ROS Industrial 2018

Robots are an increasingly important part of our lives, in more ways than we realise. I’m not talking just about Roombas, or the toy robots that inhabit the wish lists of the world’s children (and the young at heart). Robots are increasingly behind the scenes, powering the modern world we experience daily.

ACPI AML Runtime Debugger in Ubuntu 18.04 (x64)

Ubuntu AML debugging

ACPICA is an open-source project that provides an operating system (OS)-independent reference implementation. It also contains a list of utilities such as ASL compiler (iasl), acpiexec (an AML emulator). However, AML debugging on Linux in run-time wasn’t provided in ACPICA until Linux Kernel 4.13.

Bootstrap Your Snap

People frequently tell me they’d like to make a snap of an application they care about. Whether it’s in person at events like FOSDEM, or online via IRC or Telegram, there are developers who want to share their Linux software creations with the world, and snaps are designed exactly for this.

A fresh look for releases.ubuntu.com

As part of the ongoing project to upgrade all of our websites to use our Vanilla Framework, we tackled releases.ubuntu.com, a website that lists all Ubuntu releases available for download.

a section of the design for releases.ubuntu.com

KDE releases a new version of the Plasma desktop environment

Say hello to Plasma 5.15, the newest version of KDE's acclaimed desktop environment.

This February release of KDE Plasma comes with a wide range of new features and improvements. The main focus of developers has been stamping out all minor problems and papercuts of the desktop, aiming to make Plasma smoother and easier to use.

Plasma's configuration interfaces have been redesigned, expanded and clarified to cover more user cases and make it simpler to adapt Plasma to everybody's needs. Plasma has also improved the integration of non-native applications, so Firefox, for example, can now optionally use native KDE open/save dialogs. Likewise, GTK and GNOME apps now respect the global scale factor used by high-DPI screens.

Updating your system is now easier and more reliable with the new and improved Discover.

Developers have also been hard at work on Discover, Plasma's built-in software manager. Options for upgrading your distribution are now included in Discover's Update Notifier widget, which will also display a "Restart" button if a restart is recommended when updating is done. Talking of updates, it is now possible to uncheck and re-check all available updates to make it easier to pick and choose the ones you want to apply. Another improvement is that repository management in Discover is now more practical and usable, especially for Ubuntu-based distros.

We have also solved problems with text readability and icon clarity. KDE designers have improved a variety of Breeze device and preference icons, including the multimedia icons and all icons that depict a stylized version of a Plasma wallpaper. The Places, Vault and Python bytecode files all have redesigned icons to make them easier to identify.

There are literally hundreds more improvements and tweaks included in this release, all implemented to make your life as a Plasma user much more enjoyable. Read the official announcement and check out the Plasma 5.15 changelog for more details on this new version of the Plasma desktop.

Understanding containerised workloads for Telco

Containerised Workloads on Industry-Standard Hardware and Software for Telco

For telecommunications companies evaluating ways to transition and modernise their network infrastructure, cloud-native, container-based microservices architectures are a powerful solution in meeting requirements of compute needs through edge cloud and beyond.

Creating multi-purpose hardware with IoT app stores

The traditional approach to IoT requires customised hardware and kernels with a monolithic software image being flashed at the manufacturing stage leaving devices static. This renders devices unable to evolve functionality and subject to unmitigated security risks.

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