Open source news roundup for September 20 - 26, 2015

Google's Brotli compression algorithm, C++ Core Guidelines, and more news

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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Google's Brotli compression algorithm, Classroom for GitHub, C++ Core Guidelines, and more!

Open source news roundup for September 20 - 26, 2015

Google launches Brotli, open source compression algorithm

Google released Brotli, a new open source compression algorithm. This new compression algorithm is designed with the world web web in mind—its goal is to make web pages load faster. Brotli offers 20 - 26% better compression than Google's Zopfli compression algorithm. According to BetaNews, "Google hopes that the technology will be integrated into web browsers in the future, allowing for faster page load times, improvements to battery life, and lower data usage."

Classroom for GitHub

Wired covered the release of Classroom for GitHub, a new project that works with and expands upon GitHub's educational offerings. Classroom for GitHub was developed by Mark Tareshawty, a senior computer science student at Ohio State University, as a Google Summer of Code project. Classroom for GitHub allows teachers to invite their students to GitHub and to share assignments with their students in a more streamlined manner, rather than only being able to use GitHub's standard interface.

Wired also talked to Tareshawty about his views on the changing nature of computer science education. In Tareshawty's brief time as a student, he has watched assignments shift from projects where "...there wasn't a whole lot of teamwork. You worked by yourself. You didn't talk to anybody," to more collaborative exercises. Tareshawty said that there was not much collaboration in computer science coursework when he started as a student, but now assignments involve GitHub and are "more like what we would do when working out in the [professional world]."

Bjarne Stroustrup announces C++ Core Guidelines

In his keynote at CppCon, Bjarne Stroustrup announced the C++ Core Guidelines. The guidelines are meant to help programmers use modern C++ effectively. According to the README.md file in the project's GitHub repository:

Following the rules will lead to code that is statically type safe, has no resource leaks, and catches many more programming logic errors than is common in code today. And it will run fast - you can afford to do things right.

The guidelines are currently at version 0.6 and are a work in progress. Bjarne Stroustrup and Herb Stutter are the primary authors, and there have been contributions from a wide variety of sources, including CERN and Microsoft. Contributions from others are welcome and encouraged. In addition to the core guidelines, Stroustrup also announced two related projects, the Guideline Support Library and a checker tool. The Standard C++ Foundation's blog post covering the announcement provides more details about all three projects.

Open Source Hardware Certification announced

The Open Source Hardware Association announced the creation of a certification process for Open Source Hardware. Hackaday's write-up of the announcement explores several different aspects of the new certification process. Perhaps the most significant is the tiered enforcement strategy that will be employed. Under this tiered system, a first time offender would only receive a warning, but if the offending party does not comply they will be listed on as such on the OSHWA website. Anyone still non-compliant after that happens will start being fined. While there can be consequences for non-compliant projects, there is no fee associated with registering a project for certification. Hackaday also notes that "there's still a lot of work to do for the OSHWA, including turning the certification into a legal license and figuring out what logo to use."

In other news

Thanks, as always, to Opensource.com staff members and moderators for their help this week. Make sure to check out our event calendar, to see what's happening next week in open source.

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Joshua Allen Holm
Joshua Allen Holm -