Open Source Software

  1. Python is a powerful programming language that is easy to learn and easy to work with, but it is not always the fastest to run—especially when you’re dealing with math or statistics. Third-party libraries like NumPy, which wrap C libraries, can improve the performance of some operations significantly, but sometimes you just need the raw speed and power of C directly in Python.

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  2. Nathan Freitas, who heads The Guardian Project, talks with host Steve Ragan and senior writer J.M. Porup about the group's easy-to-use secure apps, open-source software libraries, and customized mobile devices being used around the world.
  3. Microsoft’s open source development tool is an important piece of the developer’s toolkit. Built using GitHub’s cross-platform Electron framework, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured development editor that supports a wide selection of languages and platforms, from the familiar C and C# to modern environments and languages like Go and Node.js, with parity between Windows, MacOS, and Linux releases.

    Microsoft regularly updates Visual Studio Code. Keep track of the updates’ key features in this changelog.

    Where to download Visual Studio Code

    To download the editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, go to Microsoft’s Visual Code Studio website. It’s also available in Anaconda Python as an option in Distribution 51.

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  4. Python has a reputation for being one of the most convenient, richly outfitted, and downright useful programming languages. Execution speed? Not so much.

    Enter Cython. The Cython language is a superset of Python that compiles to C, yielding  performance boosts that can range from a few percent to several orders of magnitude, depending on the task at hand. For work that is bound by Python’s native object types, the speedups won’t be large. But for numerical operations, or any operations not involving Python’s own internals, the gains can be massive. This way, many of Python’s native limitations can be routed around or transcended entirely.

    With Cython, you can skirt many of Python’s native limitations or transcend them entirely—without having to give up Python’s ease and convenience. In this article, we’ll walk through the basic concepts behind Cython and create a simple Python application that uses Cython to accelerate one of its functions.

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  5. Microsoft has been nipping at the top open source contributor position for years, but a new analysis by Adobe developer Fil Maj puts Microsoft into a whole other universe of contributions. Or, at least, of contributors.

    Using the GitHub REST API to pull public profile information from all 2,060,011 GitHub users who were active in 2017 (“active” meaning ten or more commits to public projects), Maj was able to pull the total number of corporate contributors to GitHub, with results that might surprise you.

    Getting at the GitHub truth around open source

    Back in October 2017, Googler Felipe Hoffa tried to analyze GitHub PushEvents to understand which companies were most generously contributing to open source projects. By his estimation, Microsoft came out on top in terms of total contributors (about 1,300), compared to second-place Google (about 900 contributors), while Google topped the charts in terms of actual code pushed to repositories (about 1,100 compared to Microsoft’s roughly 825).

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