Tabs, Not Spaces

September 12th, 2020
Better Linux disk integration for WSL 2 users, OpenWrt finds a new home, the boss chips in on Ubuntu community representation, more OS options appear for PineTab owners, Mozilla looks to its extension devs for extra funding, plus a whole lot more.

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Show Transcript and Links
And rather unexpectedly, I'm going to start by mentioning that the last show provoked some negative feedback, with several of you unhappy about my characterization of Mitchell Baker's words. I had hoped to encourage debate about whether it's appropriate for a browser manufacturer to embrace online censorship quite so enthusiastically. And if so, how that squares with the ability of individuals to "shape the internet and their own experiences on it", as Mozilla's own Manifesto puts it. But it seems as though quite a few people just flat-out agree with Baker, and would rather have views that they personally disagree with hidden away from others online. There's plenty of Linux and open source news to get to in today's show, so perhaps now isn't the best time to discuss why paternalistically removing agency from another adult human might not be the act of kindness some seem to believe. But if anybody wants to reach out, I'll be happy to engage off-air.
The Mozilla Manifesto Addendum

I also don't want to keep reporting on Mozilla in a negative way, but sometimes the organization makes that a darn hard thing to do. Which brings us to the first real story of today's show, and the news that Mozilla is introducing a paid promotion scheme for Firefox extension developers. The pilot program will see interested devs paying to gain a special badge on their extension listings, and for an additional fee will offer them the opportunity of sponsored placement on the Mozilla Add-ons homepage. While the scheme is entirely voluntary, anyone who works in online retail will tell you that when a platform adopts promoted listings, most everyone is forced to use them, or see their own products buried out of sight. So while it might be reassuring for users to know that certain extensions have been through a more comprehensive and paid vetting process, the main upshot of the scheme will likely be to provide a boost to Mozilla's revenue, courtesy of the selfsame developers that already create much of the value within the entire Firefox ecosystem.
Introducing the Promoted Add-ons Pilot

Switching topics completely, OpenWrt has become a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy. And as the router firmware project originally came into being after Linksys released some GPL code that it was using, the move has a certain symmetry about it. Meanwhile, Red Hat has announced that another clutch of household names from the tech and finance industry have adopted the GPL Cooperation Commitment. The initiative is designed to give violators of the second versions of the GPL and LGPL licenses a chance to come into compliance, rather than have their rights under them immediately revoked, which a strict reading of the licenses suggest should be the case. The program now boasts over sixty members, and has been endorsed in the past by the Free Software Foundation itself.
OpenWrt Joins Conservancy
GPL Initiative Grows Over 40%; More Than 60 Companies Have Joined the Campaign for Greater Predictability in Open Source Licensing
[Info] Join the GPL Cooperation Commitment
[Old] Red Hat leads coalition supporting key part of Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement

Two weeks after the release was first tagged, IBM has formally announced version 14 of its Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power. The self-contained build toolchain helps developers produce code that's optimized for running on IBM's Power hardware, and yields most benefit for CPU-intensive applications. As well as bringing updates to its core utilities, the new version also adds support for the latest Ubuntu LTS release.
IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 14.0-0
Advance Toolchain 14.0-0 release highlights

And speaking of Ubuntu, Project Lead Mark Shuttleworth has jumped into an ongoing debate about community representation. While Shuttleworth appears to share some of the frustrations other Ubuntu users have been expressing, he didn't offer up any pat solutions, but instead asked for further input from the community. And like all of today's other stories, you can find a link to that conversation in the shownotes.
Mark Shuttleworth comments on Ubuntu community representation (thread above)

Yubico has started retailing a hardware security key that combines USB-C and NFC connectivity. The new fifty-five dollar YubiKey was designed with modern computing devices and mobiles in mind, and offers multi-protocol support on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and of course Linux.
Our family is growing! Meet our newest member… the YubiKey 5C NFC

It's been a quiet few days on the desktop application front, with only a couple of new releases worth flagging up. An update to the Cawbird Twitter client brought some usability and memory usage improvements, while the latest version of Ardour's digital audio workstation adds new loudness analysis and normalization functionality.
Cawbird Twitter Client Gains New Features and Lowers Memory Usage
Ardour 6.3 Open-Source DAW Released with New Loudness Analysis Feature

Microsoft is bringing the ability to mount external Linux filesystems to WSL 2. The feature is available in the latest preview build of Windows, but does come with some restrictions. For now, only whole disk mounts are supported rather than partition-level ones, and while the feature will work with USB disks, it currently doesn't support removable flash drives.
Access Linux filesystems in Windows and WSL 2

And finally, the list of operating system choices for PineTab owners keeps growing longer and longer. Nightly development builds of Mobian are now available for the handheld device, which couples Debian underpinnings with the Phosh mobile shell from Purisim. An ongoing port of Arch Linux to PINE64 devices also appears to be making good progress, with support for the new PineTab being one of the highlights of its latest release.
Mobian Linux is now available for the PineTab (as well as the PinePhone)
Now Arch Linux ARM Runs on PINE64’s PineTab Linux Tablet

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