Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09

amazon ami 2016.09

AWS Blog lets us know that Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09 is now available.  It comes with a variety of updates, such as Nginx 1.10, PHP 7, and PostgreSQL 9.5 and Python 3.5.  Another thing that got quite a bit of improvement is the boot time of the Amazon Linux AMI instances.  Here’s a comparison chart:


Read about all the changes in the release notes.

P.S.: I’m still stuck with Amazon AMI on a few of my instances, but in general I have to remind all of you to NOT use the Amazon AMI.  You’ve been warned.

Vim 8.0 Released!

The team behind the greatest text editor of all times has release the new major version – Vim 8.0.  It’s the first major release in 10 years!  Brief overview of the changes:

  • Asynchronous I/O support, channels, JSON
  • Jobs
  • Timers
  • Partials, Lambdas and Closures
  • Packages
  • New style testing
  • Viminfo merged by timestamp
  • GTK+ 3 support
  • MS-Windows DirectX support

For a more complete list and details, have a look here.

The TL;DR summary: Vim provides a lot more power now to plugin developers, so we’ll be seeing a boost in both new functionality and old ways getting better.

Here is a mandatory Slashdot discussion with your usual Vim vs. Emacs flame.

P.S.: Emacs has recently released a major update too …

GitHub Improvements

GitHub has recently announced a whole lot of improvements to their service and functionality.  For me personally the following bits were super exiciting.

Improvements to the code review

reviews popover

Approve or require changes

You’re no longer left on your own to figure out if a comment was important. Or if that emoji means “Go ahead, looks great!” Or “Please no, this is likely going to bring the site down!”

With Reviews, you can leave your comments as suggestions, approve the changes, or request additional changes—on any pull request.

Improvements to the GitHub Profile page

github profiles

See what’s behind your green squares

GitHub profiles show your life and career as a developer. We’ve taken the contribution graph to new heights with your GitHub timeline—a snapshot of your most important triumphs and contributions.

But there is more – projects, notes, comment drafts, etc.  Check the full announcement.

Calypso – the new WordPress admin interface

Matt Mullenweg shares some exciting news – WordPress is getting a major overhaul of its admin interface.  Completely rewritten in JavaScript, with API support in the backend, it is fast, modern, and will push WordPress right into the future.

Check it out on today!  It shouldn’t be too long before JetPack brings it to all the self-hosted sites as a feature.

Here’s the comparison table for old and new.


Red Hat acquires Ansible

Linux Weekly News reports that Red Hat acquires Ansible.  There are quite a few configuration management tools around, and it was only the matter of time until Red Hat, with all its corporate client base, would buy one.  Or pledge allegiance.  My personal preference would be in Puppet, but Puppet comes from the Ruby world, where’s Red Hat is more of a Python shop.

Ansible’s simple and agentless approach, unlike competing solutions, does not require any special coding skills, removing some of the most significant barriers to automation across IT. From deployment and configuration to rolling upgrades, by adding Ansible to its hybrid management portfolio, Red Hat will help customers to:

  • Deploy and manage applications across private and public clouds.
  • Speed service delivery through DevOps initiatives.
  • Streamline OpenStack installations and upgrades.
  • Accelerate container adoption by simplifying orchestration and configuration.

The upstream Ansible project is one of the most popular open source automation projects on GitHub with an active and highly engaged community, encompassing nearly 1,200 contributors. Ansible automation is being used by a growing number of Fortune 100 companies, powering large and complex private cloud environments, and the company has received several notable accolades, including a 2015 InfoWorld Bossie Award, recognizing the best open source datacenter and cloud software.

Regardless, though, of my personal preferences, these are good news for configuration management and automation.

WordPress 4.3 “Billie” is out

The brand new and shiny version 4.3 of WordPress is out, bringing more bells and whistles to Customizer, formatting shortcuts to the editor (looks like Markdown made its mark), and more.

I’ve upgraded and also switched this site to Twenty Fifteen theme, just to see how it all works.  No coding customization done yet – only whatever is available through the mouse clicks.

Craig Ferguson is leaving CBS’ “Late Late show” in December

IMDb reports:

Craig Ferguson will step down as host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show” in December when his contract with the network expires after nearly a decade asDavid Letterman‘s companion in the 12:35 a.m. slot.

Ferguson broke the news to his studio audience at the 5 p.m. Pt taping of Monday’s edition of “Late Late Show.” In a statement issued by the network he quipped: “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much.”

These are sad news indeed.  Of all the late night shows that are easily reachable (so, Jon Stewart is off limits), I enjoyed the “Late Late Show” the most.   Gladly, at least, the previous episodes are available on their YouTube channel.

Fedora 20 released

Fedora community celebrates the release of Fedora 20 today.  It is an anniversary release, marking 10 years since the birth of the project.   Yes, that’s two releases per year,  all according to the six month release cycle.  Here, I’d like to do a little side tour.

Not many people understand what a Linux distribution is, much fewer comprehend how much work goes into making one.  I have been following Fedora closely since it was born, and tried my hand at building a Red Hat based Linux distribution myself.   Of course, it’s been years since, and many things got simpler and easier, but the overall effort, I’m sure, is still pretty incredible.

Let me break it down for you a bit.  In it’s simplest form, a Linux distribution is just a collection of software.  Pretty much anybody can take a Linux kernel, bash shell with a few tools, and throw together the simplest of all distributions.  But Fedora is not that.  Fedora is much larger.   It consists of thousands of packages.  Each package is not just thrown in, it is tested, packaged and maintained, to make sure upstream patches and updates are integrated properly, and all bug reports travel back upstream.   All of these packages are tested both separately and together to make sure they work with each other.  Often, custom patches have to be developed and applied.  All of these are supported on multiple hardware architectures, in a numerous variety of scenarios.

Just that alone is a monstrous amount of work.  But that’s not all of it.  Fedora maintains a huge infrastructure to make sure tests can be executed, updates could be distributed, and community members can talk to each other.

Tonnes of help is provided to anyone in need.  This includes wiki pages, mailing lists, IRC chats, etc.  Help covers not only newcomers to Fedora distribution, but also seasoned users, system administrators, testers, and also marketing promoters.   A lot of this has been translated into dozens of languages and distributed geographically.

And all of it is an ongoing process.  Just think about it – today the new version is making its way around the world, and if you run “yum update” tomorrow, you’ll definitely find a few packages with freshly baked fixes and improvements.

Thousands and thousands of people are involved in this.  Some write code, some administrate systems, some negotiate with upstream providers, some test software, some write documentation, some translate, some organize shows and conferences, some train people and answer silly questions.  And in all of this havoc and madness, somehow, an original release cycle of once every six month is still being kept.  Yes, true, an occasional schedule slip of a week or two occurs, but overall, it has been a solid two releases per year.  Every year.  For the last 10 years.

A lot of this is hard work.  A lot of it is fun.  But there are also sad chapters in this history.  Fedora 20 is dedicated to Seth Vidal, who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident while he was riding his bicycle earlier this year.

On July 8, the Fedora Project lost Seth Vidal, a dedicated, tireless, and brilliant contributor. Seth was a lead developer of Yum and the Fedora update repository system. He worked to ensure that the technical and community infrastructure of Fedora worked well and consistently for users and contributors around the world. Seth touched the lives of hundreds of Fedora contributors directly and millions of others indirectly by improving the experience of using and updating Fedora.

The Fedora Project dedicates the Fedora 20 release to Seth and asks that you join us in remembering his generous spirit and incredible work that helped make Fedora what it is today. We miss you, Seth.

There are ups and downs, victories and losses.  There is no other way in the project of this magnitude, in a crowd of people so huge, and in such a dynamic environment, all lasting for so long.

With all that in mind now, I suggest you give Fedora 20 a try, if you are not a Fedora user.  If you are – happy upgrading!  And let’s not forget to say a huge thank you to everyone who made this release possible.  Good job, guys!

P.S.: If you are interested in the actual changes of this release – please have a look at the changeset document.