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Open Source

Submission + - MySQL's creator on why the future belongs to MariaDB (

angry tapir writes: "When Oracle purchased Sun, many in the open source community were bleak about the future of MySQL. According to MySQL co-creator Michael "Monty" Widenius, these fears have been proven by Oracle's attitude to MySQL and its community. In the wake of the Sun takeover, Monty forked MySQL to create MariaDB, which has picked up momentum (being included by default in Fedora, Open SUSE and, most recently, Slackware). I recently interviewed Monty about what he learned from the MySQL experience and the current state of MariaDB."

Submission + - Everything About Java 8 (

reygahnci writes: I found a comprehensive summary of the developer-facing changes coming in Java 8 including: improvements to interfaces, functional interfaces, lambdas, functions, streams, parallels, date/time improvements, and more. The article includes example code with realistic examples of use as well as explaining the reasoning behind some of the choices made by the developers who are working on Java 8.

Submission + - Sun/Oracle T5 servers; too late? (

bobthesungeek76036 writes: On March 26th, Larry Ellison and always with fashionable haircut John Fowler announced the new line of SPARC servers from Oracle. Touted as the fastest microprocessor in the world, they put up some impressive SPEC numbers against much more expensive (and older) IBM hardware. Is the industry still interested in SPARC or is it too late for Larry to regain the server market that Sun Microsystems had many moons ago?

Submission + - Tearable Cloth In JavaScript (

mikejuk writes: Every now and again there is a demonstration program that you just have to play with. Tearable cloth is a JavaScript app that animates a grid-like cloth and you can move it or tear it with the a swish of a mouse. It's addictive and it's going to waste hours of productive programming time. What is impressive is that the simulation is interactive and it's written in JavaScript drawing directly to a Canvas element. Moving the mouse across the cloth disturbs it as if the cloth had been "poked" by a stick or a finger. Dragging with the right-mouse button pressed cuts the cloth and creates holes or even detaches portions which then simply fall under gravity. What may also surprise you about this simulation is that it doesn't use a physics engine but solves the equations of motion using a directly implemented integrator function. It isn't completely stable under all values of the parameters and after you have tired of toying with the cloth, now you know how a kitten feels, you might like to take a look at the JavaScript code.

Submission + - Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision to Attend PyCon? 4

theodp writes: Its Code of Conduct describes PyCon as 'a welcoming, friendly event for all.' But will the post-conference fallout from this year's 'Donglegate' debacle and proposed remedies affect your decision — one way or the other — to attend next year's PyCon in ironically naughty Montreal? And even if not, could 'Donglegate' influence the-powers-that-be whose approval you'll need to attend? How about conference sponsors? Also, how important is PyCon to the Python ecosystem — any chance that this year's incident could have a short or long-term effect on Python itself?

Submission + - CS Faculty and Students to Write a Creative Commons C++ Textbook

Cynic writes: Inspired by an earlier Slashdot story about Finnish teachers and students writing a math textbook, I pitched the idea of writing our own much cheaper/free C++ textbook to my programming students. They were incredibly positive, so I decided to move forward and started a Kickstarter project. We hope to release the textbook we produce under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and sell cheap hard copies to sustain the hosting and other production costs.

Submission + - Documentary Serving Multiple Agendas?

theodp writes: 'Someday, and that day may never come,' Don Corleone says famously in The Godfather, 'I'll call upon you to do a service for me.' Back in 2010, filmmaker Lesley Chilcott produced Waiting for "Superman", a controversial 2010 documentary film that analyzed the failures of the American public education system, and presented charter schools as a glimmer of hope, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed KIPP Los Angeles Prep. Gates himself was a "Superman" cast member, show here in a clip that laments how U.S. public schools are producing 'American Idiots' of no use to high tech firms like Microsoft, forcing them to 'go half-way around the world to recruit the engineers and programmers they needed.' So some found it strange that when Chilcott teamed up with Gates again three years later to make's documentary short What Most Schools Don't Teach, kids from KIPP Empower Academy were called upon to demonstrate that U.S. schoolchildren are still clueless about what computer programmers do. In a nice coincidence, the film went viral just as leaders of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook pressed President Obama and Congress on immigration reform, citing a dearth of U.S. programming talent. And speaking of coincidences, the lone teacher in the film (James, Teacher@Mount View Elementary), whose classroom was tapped by as a model for the nation's schools, is Seattle teacher Jamie Ewing, who took top honors in Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) U.S. Forum last summer, earning him a spot on PiL's 'Team USA' and the chance to showcase his project at the Microsoft PiL Global Forum in Prague in November (82-page Conference Guide). Ironically, had Ewing stuck to teaching the kids Scratch programming, as he's shown doing in the documentary, Microsoft wouldn't have seen fit to send him to its blowout at 'absolutely amazingly beautiful' Prague Castle. Innovative teaching, at least according to Microsoft's rules, 'must include the use of one or more Microsoft technologies.' Fortunately, Ewing's project — described in his MSDN guest blog post — called for using PowerPoint and Skype. For the curious, here's Microsoft PiL's vision of what a classroom should be.

Submission + - EA CEO's Departure Might Be Good for the Company (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello might have resigned in the wake of the company’s disastrous SimCity launch, but his departure might not be a bad thing for EA as the company. On Glassdoor, his 59 percent rating was 9 points below the average. One outside recruiter says Riccitiello’s taken the fun out of the game maker’s culture. “They’ve never had a problem getting good talent and that’s not likely to change,” says the recruiter, who requested anonymity because of his business dealings with the company. “But, they’ve had problems getting great talent and that’s not likely to change.” Let this be a lesson to gaming executives everywhere: if you’re going to launch a popular title that needs to be constantly connected to online servers, make sure you have enough backend infrastructure in place to actually handle the load."

Submission + - Meet the Other Cast Member of

theodp writes: Oddly, the only named cast member of's viral documentary film What Most Schools Don't Teach who didn't earn a spot on the site's Meet the Film Cast page was its lone teacher. It turns out that James, Teacher@Mount View Elementary, whose classroom was touted as a model for the nation's schools, is Mt. View's Jamie Ewing, a Seattle teacher who took top honors in Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) U.S. Forum last summer, earning him a spot on PiL's 'Team USA' and the chance to show his project to peers at the Microsoft PiL Global Forum in Prague in November (82-page Conference Guide). Ironically, had Ewing stuck to teaching the kids Scratch programming, as he's shown doing in the documentary, Microsoft wouldn't have sent him to its blowout at 'absolutely amazingly beautiful' Prague Castle. Innovative teaching, at least according to Microsoft's rules, 'must include the use of one or more Microsoft technologies.' Ewing's project, described in his MSDN guest blog post, called for using PowerPoint and Skype to fulfill this requirement. For the curious, here's Microsoft PiL's vision of what a classroom should be. Now that's what RMS calls a scary movie, kids!

Submission + - Java Code, Details Released for Potential Sandbox Bypass Issue (

msm1267 writes: Additional details and code demonstrating a possible security vulnerability in Java were released this morning by a Polish security research company, bringing to a head a three-week long debate between the researcher and Oracle over whether the issue is indeed a vulnerability or an allowed behavior in Java.
Adam Gowdiak of Security Explorations has been back and forth with Oracle since Feb. 25 over the lack of a security check in a certain Java operation that when combined with another vulnerability discovered by the firm can result in a complete Java sandbox bypass.
Oracle has refused to confirm the issue is a security vulnerability and told Gowdiak that it continues to investigate. A request for comment from Oracle was not returned by the time of publication. Gowdiak said he sent Oracle detailed information on Feb. 25 about two vulnerabilities he calls Issue 54 and 55, along with source and binaries for proof of concept code. Oracle confirmed Issue 55 as a vulnerability, but said 54 is an “allowed behavior.”


Submission + - Comparing the C++ Standard and Boost (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "The one and only Jeff Cogswell is back with an article exploring an issue important to anyone who works with C++. It's been two years since the ISO C++ committee approved the final draft of the newest C++ standard; now that time has passed, he writes, "we can go back and look at some issues that have affected the language (indeed, ever since the first international standard in 1998) and compare its final result and product to a popular C++ library called Boost." A lot of development groups have adopted the use of Boost, and still others are considering whether to embrace it: that makes a discussion (and comparison) of its features worthwhile. "The Standards Committee took some eight years to fight over what should be in the standard, and the compiler vendors had to wait for all that to get ironed out before they could publish an implementation of the Standard Library," he writes. "But meanwhile the actual C++ community was moving forward on its own, building better things such as Boost.""

Submission + - Adobe Shuts Down Desktop Browser Testing Service BrowserLab

An anonymous reader writes: Adobe has shut down its BrowserLab service, used by many for testing content across multiple desktop platforms. The company pointed its customers to two alternatives: BrowserStack and Sauce Labs. BrowserLab offered cross-browser testing by producing screenshots of websites from various browsers across Windows and OS X platforms. It was very useful for developers looking to support as many different users as possible.
Open Source

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What sites do you recommend for hosting many small projects?

MellowTigger writes: I work at a non-profit organization. I am looking for a site where we can register an account under our group's name, then spawn multiple projects to solicit programmer help for our organization. The current projects that we have in mind are small and probably not of interest to the wider world, although one very large project is possible. I need a site that emphasizes our non-profit as the benefactor rather than the wider world, since most projects are so specific that wider applicability seems slim. We would need help with various technologies including at least Powershell and SQL. At the moment, my available options emphasize individual projects of public interest, so we would have to spawn multiple independent projects, seeming to spam the host with "pointless" minor tasks.

We already have technical people seeking to donate time. We just need a way to coordinate skill matching, document sharing, and code submission out on the web. What do you suggest?

Submission + - Twitter OAuth API Keys Leaked (

msm1267 writes: The OAuth keys and secrets that official Twitter applications use to access users’ Twitter accounts have been leaked in a post to Github this morning. The consumer keys and secrets, which function similarly to a username and password, were posted for Twitter for iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac, Windows Phone and TweetDeck. Unapproved third-party applications can now use these secrets to impersonate legitimate third-party apps and circumvent any access control measures Twitter has in place for unofficial apps.

Submission + - Chrome; Firefox; IE 10; Java; Win 8 hacked at Pwn2Own (

mask.of.sanity writes: Annual Candian hack fest Pwn2Own is famous for leaving a trail of bloodied software bits and today it did not disappoint. Security researchers tore holes through all major web browsers, breaking Windows 8 and Java too (though the latter feat is not remarkable). Thankfully for the rest of us, the cashed-up winners will disclose the holes quietly to Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and Oracle, and the proof of concept attack code will remain in the hands of organisers only.

Submission + - Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: "Programming will make you a better doctor" (

cylonlover writes: After a handful of days of furtive suggestion, spring made its presence felt in London today, where the second Technology Frontiers conference got underway. The Economist-organized event sees leading technologists and cultural figures take to the podium to beclue and/or befuddle some 250 ideas-thirsty businesspersons. Among them was Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton, who proved to be one of the day's most lucid speakers. He went into some detail as to the inception of the Raspberry Pi and the need for more computer programmers.

Submission + - US Government Warns Using Java Is Still Risky Even After Patch

An anonymous reader writes: Oracle on Monday announced the release of Java 7 Update 17 to address two separate vulnerabilities, one of which was being exploited in the wild. On Tuesday, the US government has offered its usual recommendations for security patches, noting that in this case Java should be updated but that the browser plugin should be disabled.

Submission + - JavaScript Assembly Language (

mikejuk writes: The idea of using JavaScript as a modern day assembly language for browser code is being taken very seriously by Mozilla. Asm.js is a specification for a high performance JavaScript assembly language and OdinMonkey is an engine that runs it really fast. It is a detailed specification for a subset of JavaScript. Notice that while this means that this isn't a new language there are new features which would be ignored by a standard JavaScript engine. For example, the language only has strictly-typed integers, floats, arithmetic, function calls, and heap accesses. This is achieved using annotations in the form of comments and a restricted set of operations which only work with the data type — for example logical operators convert numeric values to int32.

The fact that asm.js is a subset of JavaScript means that you can take an asm.js program and run it in a standard unmodified browser or JavaScript engine. However, to get any real value from using it you need it to be run using an optimizing JavaScript engine. This is the second half of the project. Mozilla is working on OdinMonkey, a JavaScript engine that recognizes when it has been fed an asm.js program and can apply automatic optimizations.
At the moment asm.js runs no worse than half the speed of native code. So who needs NaCL or PNaCL — JavaScript might be all we need.


Submission + - 50% of Developer Documentation Might Come from Stack Overflow

jones_supa writes: Software companies create documentation for millions of topics concerning its APIs, services, and software platforms. Creating this documentation comes at a considerable cost and effort. And after all this effort much documentation is rarely consulted. API documentation is especially difficult to create: as just a few writers must create documentation that teaches concepts and that maximally covers the many ways the thousands to millions of developers may be using their API. Now, the trend may shift even more to indirectly documenting APIs themselves through a process called crowd documentation, by publishing blog posts and curating questions and answers about APIs. In this small study, we find various facts regarding Stack Overflow, including suggesting that developers may be getting as much as 50% of their documentation from the site.

Submission + - Developers may be getting 50% of their documentation from Stack Overflow ( 1

gameweld writes: "Software companies, such as Microsoft, create documentation for millions of topics concerning its APIs, services, and software platforms. Creating this documentation comes at a considerable cost and effort. And after all this effort much documentation is rarely consulted and lacking enough examples. A new study suggests that developers are increasingly consulting Stack Overflow and crowd-sourced sites over official documentation, using it as much as 50% of time. How should official documentation be better redesigned? What are the implications of software created from unruly mashups?"