LWDW 202: Elf Preemption

Amazing KDE updates! Flatpak vs Snap, open-source animation tools, and why Ubuntu MATE is the best distribution of 2019.



04:36 Flatpak vs Snap
09:56 KDE amazing updates
12:46 Kdenlive 19.12
17:46 MATE is the best Linux distribution
21:16 Linux Mint 19.3
24:51 Enve 2D animation tool
28:16 Kernel preemption tradeoff
33:51 Open-source WiFi stack
37:16 Open-source ebook reader
42:16 Shameless penguin promotion
46:41 30 million Pi’s
49:41 Emails

Colour key – Venn Jill Pedro

Flatpak vs Snap

  • A solid comparison of Firefox running in those newfangle container thingies. 
  • Firefox 71 from the Fedora Flatpak repository, and Firefox 71 stable from the Canonical Snapcraft Store.
  • That initial startup time for Snap is, woof. 
  • No webcam / mic with Flatpak. 
  • The main Fedora package repository doesn’t come with MPEG-4.
  • Moral of the story, neither is ready for the desktop. 
  • But we all know the best way to increase adoption is to push incomplete technology on end users. 
  • Because that’s worked out well in the history of ever, right?
  • Yeah, Fedora still requires people to separately install the media codecs.
  • I did a fresh install of Fedora 31 on one of the laptops and found it odd that the videos on Twitter weren’t playing.
  • 11 seconds to start the Snap, that’s “I’m looking in the system monitor to see what’s going on” territory.
  • Snaps are tailored to work with multimedia devices, such as cameras and microphones.
  • As a result there is an OBS Snap, and Snaps of many games, both Linux and Windows that run on Linux.


KDE updates

  • Enter your artwork to KDE’s wallpaper contest for Plasma 5.18 LTS for a chance to win being included in the official release and prizes by sponsor Tuxedo Computers.
  • Dolphin, one of my favorite file managers, now lets you include tags in your search criteria.
    • Tagging files is really convenient and makes it easier to organize groups of files.
    • I would like to start using them more in my workflow to make finding files much easier.
  • I like the Do Not Disturb mode.
  • I haven’t seen a desktop notification in months!
  • If you have some artistic chops, they’re having a competition for the LTS wallpapers.
  • The winner walks away with a Tuxedo Infinity Book Pro 14.
    • I had a look at one of the previous versions and those are damn good ultrabooks!


KDENlive 19.12

  • There are lots of great performance and polish improvements in this release!
    • Improved timeline responsiveness and memory consumption.
    • Faster clip handling and cashing. 
    • Faster rendering.
    • Fixed lag when adding compositions.
  • Improved interface of color wheels and bezier curves.
  • Ctrl+F acceleration. 
  • Kids, don’t edit audio inside of a NLE, ever. 
  • I’m curious to know what meters they are using for the levels. 
  • I tried to poke around and find it but after double clicking on the VU meter it blank-screened my left monitor and started chugging. 
  • Still no preset for nvenc accelerated exports because we’re still pretending that doesn’t exist. 
  • I’m curious to know what meters they are using for the levels. 


Mate 19.10

  • This is a great choice and I completely agree!
  • Martin Wimpress and his team created a lot of progressive new features, such as the Mate Optimus NVIDIA GPU switcher we have talked about a lot here on LWDW.
  • It is no wonder that Canonical made Wimpy their new Ubuntu Desktop Director.
  • Ever since I tested the Ubuntu Mate 19.10 beta in October, and then installed the final release, I have kept using it on one of my old Thinkpads, and it runs beautifully!
  • According to fosspost, Ubuntu MATE 19.10 is the best distro of 2019.
  • If I had to nitpick and I do, I can’t go to sleep if I haven’t been a contrarian git at least once during the day, it’s the “Have a good appearance and look & feel by default” point.
  • That green… It don’t look so good!
  • Speaking of which!


Linux Mint 19.3

  • Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia has been released with several new features and is now available to download.
  • Mint 19.3 is based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS and Linux Kernel 5.0.
  • There is a new System Reports tool which will let you know if you are missing a multimedia codec or if a hardware driver or a new version of Linux Mint is available
  • Celluloid, based on MPV, replaces Xplayer as the default multimedia player.
  • And one of my favorite new improvements, HiDPI support!  Now the new Linux Mint will scale apps and text on my UHD monitor much better :-D


enve animation

  • Enve is a new open-source 2D animation software for Linux that not only does raster effects, but vector as well!
  • And you can import video and sound.
  • The layout and interface are very Adobe After Effects, which excites me because we don’t have any open source After Effects alternatives on Linux, other than Devinci Fusion, which is free but proprietary.
  • The path animation vector effects are phenomenal and are on par with After Effects.
  • All the bones for enve are there, but just imagine what this program could achieve with people contributing effects.
  • You can help enve’s development by writing effects, which is very much like the philosophy of GIMPS effects and animation toolset, and writing documentation.
  • Also, you can support the developer on Patreon.


Kernel Preemption

  • First things first, if you need preempt you are already running it. 
  • That said, this compares hard RT, low latency, and vanilla. 
  • Voluntary preempt is the sweet spot. 
  • At the end of the day it comes down to what you’re doing.
  • Preemptive scheduling will make it so if you’re opening and closing a lot of threads/applications the latency will be lower and you’ll have those open faster.
  • No preemption means you’ll get better sustained performance, if you’re opening one or several applications and running them for long stretches of time.
  • Like Venn mentioned, voluntary preemption is the unicorn!
  • Ideally, and if the software behaves, that will give you the best compromise between sustained performance and startup latency.
  • Most distros now default to voluntary preemption but you still need the software to know what to do with it.


Open WiFi

  • We have needed to get away from a proprietary WiFi stack for a long time!
  • And there are two licenses available, one open using AGPLv3, and one closed for projects that need it.
  • Ooof, Wi-Fi N best case… 
  • Supporting Wi-Fi 6 would be awesome, and I’d buy a few replacement M.2 or miniPCIe cards with support for it for the laptops I use most.


Open Ebook

  • I would love an open source E-Ink reader.
  • I have spent many hours hacking my Kindle.
  • I installed Mplayer on it to play video and audio podcasts, including LGC!
  • Also tweaked Mplayer’s video decoding to play videos at a slower FPS to match the E-Ink displays slow refresh, and it looked pretty good!.
  • It needs some kind of Wi-Fi or wireless connectivity.
  • In today’s world, wirelessly being able to get content is a must have.

Slice of Pi

30 million 

  • Not so much a story but rather a simple good on them. 








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