LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #270, October 2016

LinkedIn's {py}gradle

To facilitate better building of Android apps, the technical team at LinkedIn has developed {py}gradle, a new powerful, flexible and reusable Python packaging system. Now available to the Open Source community, {py}gradle wraps Python code into the Gradle build automation tool so that developers can build Android apps more easily. The tool currently is used for all Android projects at LinkedIn, and the company expects it to be widely used in the Open Source community as well. With {py}gradle, LinkedIn has bridged a gap between two similar but different technologies: Setuptools and Gradle. LinkedIn says that Python's Setuptools works well for self-contained Python applications with a small set of external dependencies. However, Setuptools can become problematic in certain situations as an organization's Python footprint grows, which led LinkedIn to integrate Gradle and a plugin architecture. For each language or technology stack, one simply needs to apply the build plugin for the underlying language or technology stack. With Gradle, LinkedIn was careful to enhance rather than replace the existing and idiomatic Python package management ecosystem.


Netlist, Inc.'s HybriDIMM Storage Class Memory

The metachallenge in today's data-saturated world is turning Big Data into actionable insight. A straight line to faster insights can be found in Netlist, Inc.'s new HybriDIMM Storage Class Memory (SCM), which the company describes as the industry's first standards-based, plug-and-play SCM solution. Based on an industry-standard DDR4 LRDIMM interface, Netlist calls HybriDIMM the first SCM product to operate in current Intel x86 servers without BIOS and hardware changes, as well as the first unified DRAM-NAND solution that scales memory to terabyte storage capacities and accelerates storage to nanosecond memory speeds. Netlist adds that HybriDIMM's breakthrough architecture combines an on-DIMM co-processor with Netlist's PreSight technology—predictive software-defined data management—to unify memory and storage at near-DRAM speeds. The result is a dramatic improvement in application performance by reducing data access latency by up to 1,000 times vs. the fastest existing storage solution and up to 80% cost reduction compared to the highest existing memory density for in-memory applications.


Canonical Ltd.'s Ubuntu Core

Canonical Ltd.'s “Snappy” Ubuntu Core, a stripped-down version of Ubuntu designed for autonomous machines, devices and other internet-connected digital things, has gained significant traction in the chipset/semiconductor market recently. Following on partnerships with Samsung ARTIK, Qualcomm and MediaTek, Ubuntu core now adds UcRobotics' Bubblegum-96 board to the list of supported devices. Canonical describes Ubuntu Core as the ideal platform for developers in the semiconductor arena for deploying large numbers of IoT devices due to its secure and open-source design, transactional updates that are fast and reliable and its small footprint. The Bubblegum-96 board, a great open platform for applications and IoT devices, represents one of the most powerful commercial-edition Linaro 96Boards and the third Linaro board enabled on Ubuntu Core.


Vivaldi Technologies Vivaldi Web Browser

Wired magazine likes the Vivaldi web browser, calling it a tool for power users just like “500-pound squats are to power lifters”. Led by a founder of the Opera browser, Vivaldi Technologies' browser eschews the pared-down base browser plus extensions model for one in which personalization rules. “You can truly make Vivaldi yours” is the company's mantra. The new Vivaldi 1.3 adds new options for personalization, most notably custom themes to allow customization of every UI element, protection for WebRTC IP leakage to improve privacy and additional mouse gestures, bringing to 90 the number of customizable browser actions. Platform-specific improvements for Linux users in this release include improved right-click tab hibernation for conserving system resources and better support for proprietary media in HTML5.


Penclic B3 Mouse

“Does the world need a new computer mouse?” asks Penclic. “Yes it does!” says the Swedish peripherals developer. Most devices in our lives have undergone extensive changes through the years, notes Penclic, save the unlucky, unglamorous computer mouse. The poor little guy is due not just for a facelift but a total makeover in the form of the new Penclic B3 Mouse, a faster, better and sleeker product. With this device, Penclic applies its formula of uniting cutting-edge technology with innovative, ergonomic Swedish design, resulting in a “new and amazing user experience”. The Penclic Mouse looks, feels and moves like a pen, says the company, and is so responsive and intuitive that it nearly feels like the mouse predicts where the user intends to move the cursor. The device enables the extension of bodily movements and harnesses the natural power and dexterity in our fingers and hands, which promotes a healthy and natural working position. Endless clicking and unnecessary cursor movements are things of the past. Penclic's innovative pen grip counteracts health problems like repetitive strain injury that often arise from using a traditional computer mouse. The Penclic B3 mouse is compatible with Linux, Mac OS and Windows systems that support HID 1.1.


Linaro Ltd.'s OpenDataPlane

The OpenDataPlane (ODP) project is a founding initiative by the Linaro Networking Group to produce an open-source, cross-platform application programming interface (API) for the networking Software Defined Data Plane. Linaro Ltd. recently announced the availability of the first Long Term Support (LTS) Monarch release of OpenDataPlane, which will enable other projects to leverage the acceleration provided by the ODP APIs now that the code base will be fully supported for the foreseeable future. Linaro adds that work already has begun on network protocol stacks, such as OpenFastPath (OFP), products like the nginx web server accelerated with ODP and OFP and libraries like OpenSSL that provide crypto acceleration via ODP. In addition, ODP and ODP-based products, such as OFP, nginx and OpenSSL, now can be made available as packages in popular Linux distributions like Debian, CentOS and OpenEmbedded. To accompany the release, Linaro launched a validation test suite that permits users and vendors to verify API compatibility between different ODP implementations.

linaro.org and opendataplane.org

Elizabeth K. Joseph and Matt Fischer's Common OpenStack Deployments (Prentice Hall)

Public and private clouds typically are built and integrated using OpenStack technology. Professionals seeking guidance on this important topic should investigate Elizabeth K. Joseph and Matthew Fischer's new book Common OpenStack Deployments, which its publisher, Prentice Hall, describes as “a complete, practical guide to deploying OpenStack and understanding its internals”. The authors share up-to-date, detailed strategies for deploying OpenStack on both virtual and physical servers, as well for using OpenStack to address any real-world challenge. Joseph and Fischer begin the book by covering OpenStack concepts and components by guiding the reader through small-scale, virtualized deployments. Later, readers learn how to build large, horizontally scalable infrastructures that integrate multiple components in a feature-rich cloud environment. Sprinkled throughout the book is current coverage of enhancements that make the OpenStack platform more mature and production-ready, plus expert tips on debugging and growth. Finally, the authors explain the broader OpenStack ecosystem, illustrating how to drive value through hybrid clouds blending local and hosted solutions.


Paragon Software Group's ExtFS for Windows

Fellow Linux/Windows dual-booters out there are familiar with this problem: you can access Windows files from your Linux session, but not the other way around. Saving humanity by chipping away at Windows' illogic is ExtFS for Windows, a handy utility from the Paragon Software Group that gives dual-boot users full read-write access to Linux partitions from their Windows session. ExtFS' drivers are based on Paragon's proprietary cross-platform Universal File System Driver (UFSD) technology, which provides a higher data transfer rate than native filesystem performance. Paragon recently unveiled a new feature-rich version 4 of ExtFS for Windows, which comes with extended support for Ext4 file formats enabling the highest transfer speeds and mounts Linux volumes, including those more than 2TB in size, at up to twice the rate of the previous release. Thanks to the development of ExtFS, Paragon calls itself the first software developer to implement a full set of drivers with complete read and write access to partitions on all popular filesystems. ExtFS for Mac is also available from the company.


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