Software has become ubiquitous. It’s all around us and in us. It is in our pockets, in cars, airplanes, stock exchanges, our bodies, our offices and in lots of other places. As a computer scientist and a programmer I’ve worked in aeronautics, computer security, finance and automotive industry and I can say that software engineering is a mess. The Atlantic demonstrates this point rather thoroughly in an interesting piece on the state of the software engineering profession. I agree with the article and here I will briefly tie this to what I see to be a solution, split into four parts: 1) the licensing of professional software engineers, 2) a requisite degree in computer science, 3) mandatory formal methods in software development, and 4) all software should be free as in freedom.
Whenever they tell you that you have to install a very specific proprietary software smartphone app for two-factor authentication such as Google Authenticator or Authy, just nod, install a free software app such as andOTP and pretend you’re following instructions. It will work without them noticing you use free software.
For some reason it happened only a few days ago that Debian GNU/Linux in the current stable release code-named Stretch got a kernel patch for the meltdown horror. That’s over two full months since Meltdown made it to news.
The Verge writes on history on web browser dominance, how it influenced the web and why is the unfortunate history repeating itself, but this time with Chrome instead of IE. Google has learned from the best about the Embrace, Extend and Extinguish strategy. They did pretty much the same with Android: it started as a free software project (if we exclude drivers from consideration for a moment) and now it is full of Google’s proprietary apps and dependencies. Am I too fast to conclude that this kind of things happens inevitably in the economic system that we have?
I am a bit late with a blog post this time around, but I implemented all things needed to have a Debile plugin for KLEE! While this is very exciting, I have to admit I haven’t tested it yet.
If you use DAVdroid on your phone (and have your address books and calendars in ownCloud), don’t rush with installing DAVdroid 1.2. I just had to uninstall it and install version 22.214.171.124 to have it usable on my phone again. The old lesson learned: don’t install .0 releases.
Google Summer of Code 2016 is closely coming to an end – we’re stepping into August, and coding for GSoC ends on August 23. With that in mind, I’ve been working on bringing my GSoC project to an end, though there are still things to do.
This GSoC week of working on a Debian project was all about sbuild. I made progress with setting up an sbuild session for KLEE and I also reworked a patch for sbuild to support a command-line option not present in the upstream version of sbuild.