The ChangelogThe Changelog #427  – Pinned

The rise of Rocky Linux

This week on The Changelog we’re talking with Gregory Kurtzer about Rocky Linux. Greg is the founder of the CentOS project, which recently shifted its strategy and has the Linux community scrambling. Rocky Linux aims to continue where the CentOS project left off — to provide a free and open source community-driven enterprise grade Linux operating system. We discuss the history of the CentOS project, how it fell under Red Hat’s control, the recent shift in Red Hat’s strategy with CentOS, and how Rocky Linux is designed to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Patrick DeVivotry.askgit.com

Try AskGit SQL in your browser

Remember Patrick DeVivo’s super cool AskGit project where you can query your git repo’s history with SQL? Well, now you can kick the tires without installing a thing by using AskGit’s new web interface!

Here’s an example query where we learn that I do most of my coding (or committing, at least) on Mondays and Tuesdays while Adam and Gerhard lean towards Friday.

Joe Sweeneygithub.com

Podrain – a web-based podcast app with offline capabilities

Joe Sweeney built Podrain to scratch his own podcast-listening itch. Here’s what he had to say about it in our community chat:

Hi there! Huge fan of Changelog. I actually built a podcast client for the web as a Vue PWA, as a proof-of-concept towards building a web-first future away from app stores. Works fully offline with downloaded audio, as in, works in Airplane mode (but on Android only). Interface is rough but it’s pretty stable and improving over time!

Try Podrain yourself by pointing your favorite web browser right here.

Machine Learningmarksaroufim.substack.com

Machine Learning: The Great Stagnation

This piece by Mark Saroufim on the state of ML starts pretty salty:

Graduate Student Descent is one of the most reliable ways of getting state of the art performance in Machine Learning today and it’s also a fully parallelizable over as many graduate students or employees your lab has. Armed with Graduate Student Descent you are more likely to get published or promoted than if you took on uncertain projects.

and:

BERT engineer is now a full time job. Qualifications include:

  • Some bash scripting
  • Deep knowledge of pip (starting a new environment is the suckier version of practicing scales)
  • Waiting for new HuggingFace models to be released
  • Watching Yannic Kilcher’s new Transformer paper the day it comes out
  • Repeating what Yannic said at your team reading group

It’s kind of like Dev-ops but you get paid more.

But if you survive through (or maybe even enjoy) the lamentations and ranting, you’ll find some hope and optimism around specific projects that the author believes are pushing the industry through its Great Stagnation.

I learned a few things. Maybe you will too.

Retool Icon Retool – Sponsored

The state of internal tools in 2020

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Earlier this year Retool ran a survey of developers and builders on internal tools to learn how people build and maintain their internal tooling. The survey had 310 respondents, mostly in SaaS, Finance, and Retail, and mostly from mid sized (2-500 employees) companies. This report outlines the results and insights they learned.

The tldr is internal tooling is really important, but rarely gets the time and focus they need.

Try Retool today

Josh Comeaujoshwcomeau.com

The styled-components happy path

This is Josh Comeau’s personal suite of “best practices.”

If you work with styled-components, or a similar tool like Emotion, my hope is that this article will help you get the most out of it. I’ve distilled years of experimentation and practice into a few practical tips and techniques. If you apply these ideas, I genuinely believe you’ll be a happier CSS developer ✨

Pythongithub.com

Apache Superset – a data visualization and data exploration platform

Superset can query data from any SQL-speaking datastore or data engine (e.g. Presto or Athena) that has a Python DB-API driver and a SQLAlchemy dialect.

This has been around long enough to be picked up by the Apache Foundation, but somehow it’s avoided my radar until today. The visualizations you can achieve with it are impressive, to say the least.

Apache Superset – a data visualization and data exploration platform

Elasticsearchaws.amazon.com

AWS forks Elasticsearch and Kibana as license changes

Ever since AWS took Elasticsearch and decided to sell a managed version of it there has been controversy around AWS and Elasticsearch. Now that the software created by Elastic is being switched to the Server-Side Public License
(SSPL), which is not a very permissive license, AWS is going ahead and forking the projects.

The debate rages around this. Few people feel sympathy with the behemoth that is AWS, but they don’t seem to be in violation of any licenses. Elastic have definitely worked hard on Elasticsearch and arguably deserves an opportunity to profit from their work. This new license raises significant concern though.

I don’t think we’ll see this settle anytime soon, just like the issue of open source sustainability is neither easy nor straightforward.

Teleport Icon Teleport – Sponsored

Setting up an SSH jump server

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An SSH jump server is a regular Linux server, accessible from the Internet, which is used as a gateway to access other Linux machines on a private network using the SSH protocol. The purpose of an SSH jump server is to be the only gateway for access to your infrastructure reducing the size of any potential attack surface.

In this blog post we’ll cover how to set up an SSH jump server. We’ll cover two open source projects.

  1. A traditional SSH jump server using OpenSSH. The advantage of this method is that your servers already have OpenSSH pre-installed.
  2. A modern approach using Teleport, a newer open source alternative to OpenSSH.

Both of these servers are easy to install and configure, are free and open source, and are single-binary Linux daemons.

Go TimeGo Time #163

CUE: Configuration superpowers for everyone

On this episode we learn how to Configure, Unify, and Execute things. What’s CUE all about? Well, it’s an open source language with a rich set of APIs and tooling for defining, generating, and validating all kinds of data: configuration, APIs, database schemas, code, … you name it.

Now that we’ve copy/pasted the project’s description… let’s dig in and learn how we can use CUE to make our Go programs better!

Tom Clevelandtjcx.me

I wasted $40k on a fantastic startup idea

I’m not gonna lie, it does sound like a fantastic startup idea. But there are so many things that can go wrong when trying to start something new and Tom Cleveland does a super job of telling that story in this brutally honest post:

Things are going great. My friends and family all tell me they love the site. Even some strangers on the internet love it. “I know right,” I tell them. “So how much would you pay for this?

“Hahahahahahah,” they say in unison. “Good one!”

Stick around to the end for lessons learned. Where did he go wrong?

Electrongithub.com

Turn any device with a web browser to a second screen for your computer

Deskreen is an electron.js based application that uses WebRTC to make a live stream of your desktop to a web browser on any device. It is built on top of Electron React Boilerplate For better security mechanism, end-to-end encryption is implemented, which is inspired bydarkwire.io , the difference is, that it is rewritten in Typescript and transformed to use node-forge instead of window.crypto.subtle.

Turn any device with a web browser to a second screen for your computer

Bravebrave.com

Brave adds support for IPFS

Brave CTO Brian Bondy:

IPFS is an exciting technology that can help content creators distribute content without high bandwidth costs, while taking advantage of data deduplication and data replication. There are performance advantages for loading content over IPFS by leveraging its geographically distributed swarm network. IPFS is important for blockchain and for self described data integrity. Previously viewed content can even be accessed offline with IPFS! The IPFS network gives access to content even if it has been censored by corporations and nation-states, such as for example, parts of Wikipedia.

This is a small-but-important step towards decentralizing the web, which is becoming more and more important to more and more people every day.

Practical AIPractical AI #119

Accelerating ML innovation at MLCommons

MLCommons launched in December 2020 as an open engineering consortium that seeks to accelerate machine learning innovation and broaden access to this critical technology for the public good. David Kanter, the executive director of MLCommons, joins us to discuss the launch and the ambitions of the organization.

In particular we discuss the three pillars of the organization: Benchmarks and Metrics (e.g. MLPerf), Datasets and Models (e.g. People’s Speech), and Best Practices (e.g. MLCube).

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