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Getting started with OpenTaxSolver

mar, 02/18/2020 - 09:02

OpenTaxSolver is an open source application for US taxpayers to calculate their state and federal income tax returns. Before I get into the software, I want to share some of the information I learned when researching this article. I spent about five hours a day for a week looking into open source options for doing your taxes, and I learned about a lot more than just tax software.

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Building a community of practice in 5 steps

mar, 02/18/2020 - 09:00

In the first part of this series, we defined community as a fundamental principle in open organizations, where people often define their roles, responsibilities, and affiliations through shared interests and passions, not title, role, or position on an organizational chart.

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How to embed Twine stories in WordPress

mar, 02/18/2020 - 09:00

From the very beginning, I wanted the "About me" page on my WordPress website to be interactive.

At first, I experimented with Dart, a programming language developed by Google that transcompiles into JavaScript. I killed the project when I realized I was making a game instead of an "About me" page.

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Create web user interfaces with Qt WebAssembly instead of JavaScript

lun, 02/17/2020 - 09:03

When I first heard about WebAssembly and the possibility of creating web user interfaces with Qt, just like I would in ordinary C++, I decided to take a deeper look at the technology.

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How to install Vim plugins

lun, 02/17/2020 - 09:00

While Vim is fast and efficient, by default, it is but a mere text editor. At least, that's what it would be without plugins, which build upon Vim and add extra features to make it so much more than just a window for typing text. With the right mix of plugins, you can take control of your life and forge your own unique Vim experience. You can customize your theme, and you can add syntax highlighting, code linting, version trackers, and much much more.

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Automating unit tests in test-driven development

lun, 02/17/2020 - 09:00

DevOps is a software engineering discipline focused on minimizing the lead time to achieve a desired business impact. While business stakeholders and sponsors have ideas on how to optimize business operations, those ideas need to be validated in the field. This means business automation (i.e., software products) must be placed in front of end users and paying customers. Only then will the business confirm whether the initial idea for improvement was fruitful or not.

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Minicomputers and The Soul of a New Machine

dim, 02/16/2020 - 09:00

The Command Line Heroes podcast is back, and this season it covers the machines that run all the programming languages I covered last season. As the podcast staff puts it:

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New features for Raspberry Pi, Wireguard in the Linux kernel, NSA Python course and more open source news

sam, 02/15/2020 - 09:04

In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at new features for Raspbian, Wireguard and Linux kernel, free Python course from the NSA and more!

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3 steps for product marketing your open source project

sam, 02/15/2020 - 09:00

I frequently get questions from open source project creators or new founders of commercial open source software (COSS) companies about the best way to market their product. Implicit in that inquiry lies more foundational questions: "What the hell is product marketing? How much time should I spend on it?"

This article aims to share some knowledge and specific action items to help open source creators understand product marketing as a concept and how to bootstrap it on their own until a project reaches the next level of traction.

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Linux is our love language

ven, 02/14/2020 - 09:02

2019 was a year of learning in the Cherry household. I am a senior software engineer who set out to learn new skills and, along the way, I taught my husband, Chris. By teaching him some of the things I learned and asking him to work through my technology walkthrough articles, I helped Chris learn new skills that enabled him to pivot his career deeper into the technology field. And I learned new ways to make my walkthroughs and training materials more accessible for readers to digest.

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How to restore a single-core computer with Linux

ven, 02/14/2020 - 09:01

In a previous article, I explained how I refurbish old dual-core computers ranging from roughly five to 15 years old. Properly restored, these machines can host a fully capable lightweight Linux distribution like Mint/Xfce, Xubuntu, or Lubuntu and perform everyday tasks. But what if you have a really old computer gathering dust in your attic or basement?

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How to set up your own fast, private open source mesh network

ven, 02/14/2020 - 09:00

The FreeMesh system promises to bring fully open source mesh networking to the masses. I recently had a chance to test it; it installed quickly, and the performance was great—especially for the price.

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Why developers like to code at night

jeu, 02/13/2020 - 09:02

If you ask most developers when they prefer to work, many will say their most productive hours are at night. This may be especially true for open source contributors who are contributing to projects outside of their day job (though hopefully within healthy limits to avoid burnout).

Some like to start in the evening and work till the early hours while others get up super early—say, 4 a.m.—to get most of the programming work done before the daily grind kicks in.

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Manage complex Git workspaces with Great Teeming Workspaces

jeu, 02/13/2020 - 09:01

Great Teeming Workspaces (GTWS) is a complex workspace management package for Git that makes it easy to have development environments for different projects and different versions of a project.

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Introducing our new Lua cheat sheet

jeu, 02/13/2020 - 09:00

Lua is a minimalistic, lightweight language implemented as a C library. It's fast and simple to learn, efficient to run, embeddable, and tiny (its source code download is under 500 KB, and it's just over 1MB compiled). You can use Lua to create an API for your application or as a scripting language, for quick prototyping, or as the foundation of your software project.

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Manage your SSL certificates with the ssl-on-demand script

mer, 02/12/2020 - 09:03

It happens all the time, to the largest of companies. An important certificate doesn't get renewed, and services become inaccessible. It happened to Microsoft Teams in early February 2020, awkwardly timed just after the launch of a major television campaign promoting it as a Slack competitor. Embarrassing as that may be, it's sure to happen to someone else in the future.

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Extend the life of your SSD drive with fstrim

mer, 02/12/2020 - 09:02

Over the past decade, solid-state drives (SSD) have brought about a new way of managing storage. SSDs have benefits like silent and cooler operation and a faster interface spec, compared to their elder spinning ancestors. Of course, new technology brings with it new methods of maintenance and management. SSDs have a feature called TRIM. This is essentially a method for reclaiming unused blocks on the device, which may have been previously written, but no longer contain valid data and therefore, can be returned to the general storage pool for reuse.

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How to use byobu to multiplex SSH sessions

mer, 02/12/2020 - 09:01

Byobu is a text-based window manager and terminal multiplexer. It's similar to GNU Screen but more modern and more intuitive. It also works on most Linux, BSD, and Mac distributions.

Byobu allows you to maintain multiple terminal windows, connect via SSH (secure shell), disconnect, reconnect, and even let other people access it, all while keeping the session alive.

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Building a Linux desktop, CERN powered by Ceph, and more industry trends

mar, 02/11/2020 - 19:15

As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

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Basic kubectl and Helm commands for beginners

mar, 02/11/2020 - 09:03

Recently, my husband was telling me about an upcoming job interview where he would have to run through some basic commands on a computer. He was anxious about the interview, but the best way for him to learn and remember things has always been to equate the thing he doesn't know to something very familiar to him. Because our conversation happened right after I was roaming the grocery store trying to decide what to cook that evening, it inspired me to write about kubectl and Helm commands by equating them to an ordinary trip to the grocer.

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