Game of Trees
> Game of Trees (Got) is a version control system which prioritizes ease of use and simplicity over flexibility. Got is still under development; it is being developed exclusively on OpenBSD and its target audience are OpenBSD developers.
Announcing composable multi-threaded parallelism in Julia
> Software performance depends more and more on exploiting multiple processor cores. The free lunch from Moore’s Law is still over. Well, we here in the Julia developer community have something of a reputation for caring about performance. In pursuit of it, we have already built a lot of functionality for multi-process, distributed programming and GPUs, but we’ve known for years that we would also need a good story for composable multi-threading. Today we are happy to announce a major new chapter in that story. We are releasing a preview of an entirely new threading interface for Julia programs: general task parallelism, inspired by parallel programming systems like Cilk, Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB) and Go. Task parallelism is now available in the v1.3.0-alpha release, an early preview of Julia version 1.3.0 likely to be released in a couple months. You can find binaries with this feature on the downloads page, or build the master branch from source.
Security Engineering: Third Edition
zkp: a toolkit for Schnorr proofs
> About two years ago, I made a proof-of-concept library called zkp, which used Rust macros to auto-generate an implementation of proving and verification for a class of Schnorr-style discrete logarithm proof statements. However, this approach had a number of limitations and wasn’t suitable for use in real applications. Today, I published a new and completely rewritten version of the library, which is now available on crates.io.
Call for testing: OpenSSH 8.0
> OpenSSH 8.0p1 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible.
All you need to know about hyphenation in CSS
> There are two steps required to turn on automatic hyphenation.
Plus an additional 101 not fully supported prefixed properties.
Ruby 2.7 — Numbered Parameters
> Ruby 2.7 is coming out this December, as with all modern releases, but that doesn’t stop us from looking for and writing about all the fun things we find in the mean time! No no no. For this article, we have something that’s very reminiscent of Bash, Perl, and Scala: Numbered parameters.
> Live views share functionality with the regular server-side HTML views you are used to writing – you write some template code, and your render function generates HTML for the client. That said, live views go further by enabling stateful views which support bidrectional communication between the client and server. Live views react to events from the client, as well as events happening on the server, and push their rendered updates back to the browser. In effect, we share similar interaction and rendering models with many client-side libraries that exist today, such as React and Ember.
Now in beta.
DTrace on Windows
> One of the more useful debugging advances that have arrived in the last decade is DTrace. DTrace of course needs no introduction: it’s a dynamic tracing framework that allows an admin or developer to get a real-time look into a system either in user or kernel mode. DTrace has a C-style high level and powerful programming language that allows you to dynamically insert trace points. Using these dynamically inserted trace points, you can filter on conditions or errors, write code to analyze lock patterns, detect deadlocks, etc. ETW while powerful, is static and does not provide the ability to programmatically insert trace points at runtime.
> We have created a Windows branch for “DTrace on Windows” under the OpenDTrace project on GitHub. All our changes made to support DTrace on Windows are available here. Over the next few months, we plan to work with the OpenDTrace community to merge our changes. All our source code is also available at the 3rd party sources website maintained by Microsoft.
> Q2VKPT is the first playable game that is entirely raytraced and efficiently simulates fully dynamic lighting in real-time, with the same modern techniques as used in the movie industry (see Disney’s practical guide to path tracing). The recent release of GPUs with raytracing capabilities has opened up entirely new possibilities for the future of game graphics, yet making good use of raytracing is non-trivial. While some games have started to explore improvements in shadow and reflection rendering, Q2VKPT is the first project to implement an efficient unified solution for all types of light transport: direct, scattered, and reflected light (see media). This kind of unification has led to a dramatic increase in both flexibility and productivity in the movie industry. The chance to have the same development in games promises a similar increase in visual fidelity and realism for game graphics in the coming years.
> This project is meant to serve as a proof-of-concept for computer graphics research and the game industry alike, and to give enthusiasts a glimpse into the potential future of game graphics. Besides the use of hardware-accelerated raytracing, Q2VKPT mainly gains its efficiency from an adaptive image filtering technique that intelligently tracks changes in the scene illumination to re-use as much information as possible from previous computations.
> How many times have you downloaded an executable file, but were afraid to run it? Have you ever been in a situation which required a clean installation of Windows, but didn’t want to set up a virtual machine?
> At Microsoft we regularly encounter these situations, so we developed Windows Sandbox: an isolated, temporary, desktop environment where you can run untrusted software without the fear of lasting impact to your PC. Any software installed in Windows Sandbox stays only in the sandbox and cannot affect your host. Once Windows Sandbox is closed, all the software with all its files and state are permanently deleted.
Porting Alpine Linux to RISC-V
> Once the essential packages are built and the system can compile itself, the long porting process begins. It’s generally wise to drop the cross-compiler here and start doing native builds, if your hardware is fast enough. This is a tradeoff, because the RISC-V system is somewhat slower than my x86_64 bootstrap machine - but many packages require lots of manual tweaks and patching to get cross-compiling working. The time saved by not worrying about this makes up for the slower build times.
Building a Language and Compiler for Machine Learning
> We need a language to write differentiable algorithms, and Flux takes Julia to be this language. Being designed from the ground up for mathematical and numerical computing, Julia is unusually well-suited for expressing ML algorithms. Meanwhile, its mix of modern design and new ideas in the compiler makes it easier to address the high performance needs of cutting edge ML.
> Where typical frameworks are all-encompassing monoliths in hundreds of thousands of lines of C++, Flux is only a thousand lines of straightforward Julia code. Simply take one package for gradients (Zygote.jl), one package for GPU support (CuArrays.jl), sprinkle with some light convenience functions, bake for fifteen minutes and out pops a fully-featured ML stack.
Announcing .NET Core 3 Preview 1 and Open Sourcing Windows Desktop Frameworks
> Today, we are excited to announce that are open sourcing WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI, so the three major Windows UX technologies will be open sourced. For the first time ever, the community will be able to see the development of WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI happen in the open and we will take contributions for these frameworks on .NET Core. The first wave of code will be available in GitHub today and more will appear over the next few months.
Cuckoo Breeding Ground - A Better Cuckoo Hash Table
> Perhaps the most significant downside of cuckoo hashing, however, is that it potentially requires checking multiple memory regions randomly distributed throughout the table. In many settings, such random access lookups are expensive, making cuckoo hashing a less compelling alternative. We design a variant of cuckoo hashing that reduces the number of memory regions accessed, increase the load threshold and remains relatively simple. We do this by choosing some less popular options for cuckoo hashing with a couple of novel ideas.
sr.ht, the hacker's forge, now open for public alpha
> For those who are new, let me explain what makes sr.ht special. It provides many of the trimmings you’re used to from sites like GitHub, Gitlab, BitBucket, and so on, including git repository hosting, bug tracking software, CI, wikis, and so on. However, the sr.ht model is different from these projects - where many forges attempt to replicate GitHub’s success with a thinly veiled clone of the GitHub UI and workflow, sr.ht is fundamentally different in its approach.
> The C committee (AKA WG14) has now moved to construct the next real revision of the C standard. This is commonly referred to “C2x”, where the “x” is supposed to represent the digit of the year in which this new standard will appear. The whole procedure is ruled by the C2x Charter that describes and fixes what kind of additions and improvements we want to see in C2x.
WireGuard for iOS - TestFlight
> For the last few weeks, Roopesh and I have been hard at work on the WireGuard for iOS app. Today we’re happy to share a likely-buggy-and-broken TestFlight that you can run on your phone: <https://testflight.apple.com/join/63I19SDT>. As usual, use at your own risk, especially since it’s alpha quality.
PostgreSQL 11 and Just In Time Compilation of Queries
> One of the big changes in the next PostgreSQL release is the result of Andres Freund’s work on the query executor engine. Andres has been working on this part of the system for a while now, and in the next release we are going to see a new component in the execution engine: a JIT expression compiler!
> In our benchmarking, PostgreSQL 11 JIT is an awesome piece of technology and provides up to 29.31% speed improvements, executing TPC-H Q1 at scale factor 10 in 20.5s instead of 29s when using PostgreSQL 10.
Java's new Z Garbage Collector (ZGC) is very exciting
> Java 11 has recently been feature frozen and contains some really great features, one in particular we’d like to highlight. The release contains a brand new Garbage Collector, ZGC, which is being developed by Oracle that promises very low pause times on multi-terabyte heaps. In this article we’ll cover the motivation for a new GC, a technical overview and some of the really exciting possibilities ZGC opens up.