from the iron+oxygen dept.
Rust's core team and Mozilla are announcing plans to create a Rust foundation with the hopes of establishing this legal entity by year's end. The trademarks and related assets of Rust, Cargo, and Crates.io will belong to this foundation. Work is well underway on establishing this foundation with originally coming to the idea of possibly creating an independent Rust foundation last year, now pushed along by the recent Mozilla layoffs and the global pandemic. This should allow the Rust community more safety rather than being reliant upon a sole organization (Mozilla) and help foster growth and open up new possibilities.
Kernel developers appear to be eager to debate the merits of potentially allowing Rust code within the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds himself has made some initial remarks on the topic ahead of the Linux Plumbers 2020 conference where the matter will be discussed at length.
[...] Linus Torvalds chimed in though with his own opinion on the matter. Linus commented that he would like it to be effectively enabled by default to ensure there is widespread testing and not any isolated usage where developers then may do "crazy" things. He isn't calling for Rust to be a requirement for the kernel but rather if the Rust compiler is detected on the system, Kconfig would enable the Rust support and go ahead in building any hypothetical Rust kernel code in order to see it's properly built at least.
According to a mailing list post spotted by Phoronix, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has shared his strong views on the AVX-512 instruction set. The discussion arose as a result of recent news that Intel's upcoming Alder Lake processors reportedly lack support for AVX-512.
Torvalds' advice to Intel is to focus on things that matter instead of wasting resources on new instruction sets, like AVX-512, that he feels aren't beneficial outside the HPC market.
The Mozilla Corporation announced today it was laying off approximately 250 staff members in a move to shore up the organization's financial future.
The layoffs were publicly announced in a blog post today. Employees were notified hours before, earlier this morning, via an email [PDF] sent by Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Corporation CEO and Mozilla Foundation Chairwoman.
Baker's message cited the organization's need to adapt its finances to a post-COVID-19 world and re-focus the organization on new commercial services.
[...] In 2018, the Mozilla Corporation said it had around 1,000 full-time employees worldwide. Mozilla previously laid off 70 employees in January. Several sources have told ZDNet that the recent layoffs accounted for nearly a quarter of the organization's workforce.
Main casualties of today's layoffs were the developers working on the company's experimental Servo browser engine and Mozilla's threat management security team. The latter is the security team that investigates security reports and performs incident response. The security team that fixes bugs in Mozilla products is still in place, according to sources and a Mozilla spokesperson.
Firefox 83 also ships with an option for an HTTPS-only mode whereby every Firefox connection aims to be secure and will warn the user should HTTPS not be supported.
Mozilla and the Linux Foundation are jointly announcing this morning that the Servo web engine development will now be hosted by the Linux Foundation.
The Rust-written code-base that's served as a long in development "next-gen" web engine at Mozilla will now be developed under the Linux Foundation umbrella. Besides Mozilla, this move has the support of other industry stakeholders like Samsung and Let's Encrypt.
See also: Firefox 84 Beta Begins Enabling WebRender By Default On Linux
Chrome 87 Released With More Performance Improvements
Google Is Already Experimenting With WebP2 As Successor To WebP Image Format
The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG)—parent organization of the better-known Let's Encrypt project—has provided prominent developer Miguel Ojeda with a one-year contract to work on Rust in Linux and other security efforts on a full-time basis.
As we covered in March, Rust is a low-level programming language offering most of the flexibility and performance of C—the language used for kernels in Unix and Unix-like operating systems since the 1970s—in a safer way.
Efforts to make Rust a viable language for Linux kernel development began at the 2020 Linux Plumbers conference, with acceptance for the idea coming from Linus Torvalds himself. Torvalds specifically requested Rust compiler availability in the default kernel build environment to support such efforts—not to replace the entire source code of the Linux kernel with Rust-developed equivalents, but to make it possible for new development to work properly.
Using Rust for new code in the kernel—which might mean new hardware drivers or even replacement of GNU Coreutils—potentially decreases the number of bugs lurking in the kernel. Rust simply won't allow a developer to leak memory or create the potential for buffer overflows—significant sources of performance and security issues in complex C-language code.
Last year during the big round of layoffs at Mozilla the entire Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) writers team was laid off. That was a particularly sad blow considering how valuable the MDN documentation has been to web developers as a very useful resource. Today the Mozilla folks are announced Open Web Docs in seemingly looking to have the community take over.
Following those unfortunate layoffs last summer, they exposed all of the Mozilla Developer Network documentation to GitHub. Now they are announcing the Open Web Docs organization.
"Open Web Docs (OWD) is an open collective, created in collaboration between several key MDN partner organizations to ensure the long-term health of open web platform documentation on de facto standard resources like MDN Web Docs, independently of any single vendor or organization. It will do this by collecting funding to finance writing staff and helping manage the communities and processes that will deliver on present and future documentation needs," was written on the Mozilla Hacks blog.
Previously: Mozilla Lays Off 250, Including Entire Threat Management Team
Following Layoffs, Mozilla and Core Rust Developers Are Forming a Rust Foundation
A Pretty Dire Assessment of Mozilla
Firefox 83 Released; Mozilla Kicks Rusty "Servo" Web Engine to the Linux Foundation