The KISS Web Development Framework

KISS Framework

Perhaps the most popular platform for applications is the web. There are many reasons for this including portability across platforms, no need to update the program, data backup, sharing data with others, and many more. This popularity has driven many of us to the platform.

Unfortunately, the platform is a bit complex. Rather than developing in a particular environment, with web applications it is necessary to create two halves of a program utilizing vastly different technologies. On top of that, there are many additional challenges such as the communications and security between the two halves.

A typical web application would include all of the following building blocks:

  1. Front-end layout (HTML/CSS)
  2. Front-end functionality (JavaScript)
  3. Back-end server code (Java, C#, etc.)
  4. Communications (REST, etc.)
  5. Authentication
  6. Data persistence (SQL, etc.)

All these don't even touch on all the other pieces that are not part of your application proper, such as the server (Apache, tomcat, etc), the database server (PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, etc), the OS (Linux, etc.), domain name, DNS, yadda, yadda, yadda.

The tremendous complexity notwithstanding, most application developers mainly have to concern themselves with the six items listed above. These are their main concerns.

Although there are many fine solutions available for these main concerns, in general, these solutions are siloed, complex, and incongruent. Let me explain.

Many solutions are siloed because they are single-solution packages that are complete within themselves and disconnected from other pieces of the system.

Some solutions are so complex that they can take years to learn well. Developers can struggle more with the framework they are using than the language or application they are trying to write. This is a major problem.

Lastly, by incongruent I mean that the siloed tools do not naturally fit well together. A bunch of glue code has to be written, learned, and supported to fit the various pieces together. Each tool has a different feel, a different approach, a different way of thinking.

Being frustrated with all of these problems, I wrote the KISS Web Development Framework. At first it was just various solutions I had developed. But later it evolved into a single, comprehensive web development framework. KISS, an open-source project, was specifically designed to solve these exact challenges.

KISS is a single, comprehensive, fully integrated web development framework that includes integrated solutions for:

Front-end

  1. Custom HTML controls
  2. Easy communications with the back-end with built-in authentication
  3. Browser cache control (so the user never has to clear their cache)
  4. A variety of general purpose utilities

Back-end

Linux in Healthcare – Cutting Costs & Adding Safety

Linux in Healthcare

Healthcare domain directly deals with our health and lives. Healthcare is prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of any disease, injury, illness, or any other physical and mental impairments in humans. Emergency situations are often dealt with by the healthcare sector very frequently. With immense scope for improvisations, a thriving healthcare domain deals from telemedicine to insurance, and inpatient hospitals to outpatient clinics.  With practitioners practicing in multiple areas like medicine, chiropractic, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, and others, it's an industry with complex processes and data-oriented maintenance systems often difficult to manage manually with paperwork.

Need is the mother of innovation and hence people across the world have invented software and systems to manage:

  • Patients’ data or rather medical history
  • Bills and claims for own and third-party services
  • Inventory management
  • Communication channels among various departments like reception, doctor’s room, investigation rooms, wards, Operation theaters, etc.
  • Controlled Medical equipment and much more.

Thus, saving our precious time, making life easier, and minimizing human errors.

HealthCare integrated with Linux: With high availability, critical workloads, low power consumption and reliability, Linux has established itself in the likes of windows, and Mac OS. With a “stripped-down” graphical interface and minimal OS version, it provides a strong impetus for performance restricting many services from running and direct control over hardware. Integrating Linux with the latest technological solutions in healthcare (check out Elinext healthcare solutions, as an example), businesses are saving a lot along with enhanced security.

Linux in Healthcare Categories

 

Few drivers promoting Linux in healthcare are: 

Open Source: One of the utmost benefits of Linux is its open-source saving license cost for  health care organizations. Most of the software and programs running on Linux OS are largely open sources too. Anyone can modify Linux kernel based on open source license, resulting customization as per your needs. Using open-source, there is no need to request additional resources or sign additional agreements. It provides you vendor independence. With a creditable Linux community backed by various organizations, you have satisfactory support.

MuseScore Created New Font in Memory of Original SCORE Program Creator

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MuseScore

MuseScore represents a free notation software for operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux. It is designed and suitable for music teachers, students & both amateur and professional composers. MuseScore is released as FOSS under the GNU GPL license and it’s accompanied by freemium MuseScore.com sheet music catalogue with mobile score viewer, playback app and an online score sharing platform. In 2018, the MuseScore company was acquired by Ultimate Guitar, which included full-time paid developers in the open source team. Since 2019 the MuseScore design team has been led by Martin Keary, known as blogger Tantacrul, who has consistently criticized composer software in connection with design and usability. From that moment on, a qualitative change was set in motion in MuseScore.

Historically, the engraving quality in MuseScore has not been entirely satisfactory. After the review by Martin Keary, MuseScore product owner (previously known as MuseScore head of design) and Simon Smith, an engraving expert, who has produced multiple detailed reports on the engraving quality of MuseScore 3.5, it has become apparent that some key engraving issues should be resolved immediately.That would have a significant impact on the overall quality of our scores. Therefore, these changes will considerably improve the quality of scores published in the sheet music catalog, MuseScore.com.

The MuseScore 3.6 was called 'engraving release,' which addressed many of the biggest issues affecting sheet music's layout and appearance and resulted from a massive collaboration between the community and internal team.

MuseScore sheet

 

Two of the most notable additions in this release are Leland, our new notation font and Edwin, our new typeface.

Leland is a highly sophisticated notation style created by Martin Keary & Simon Smith. Leland aims to provide a classic notation style that feels 'just right' with a balanced, consistent weight and a finessed appearance that avoids overly stylized quirks.

The new typeface, Edwin, is based on the New Century Schoolbook, which has long been the typeface of choice by some of the world's leading publishers, explicitly chosen as a complementary companion to Leland. We have also provided new default style settings (margins, line thickness, etc.) to compliment Leland and Edwin, which match conventions used by the world's leading publishing houses.

MuseScore - Leland Smith, the creator of SCORE program

“Then there's our new typeface, Edwin, which is an open license version of new Century Schoolbook - long a favourite of professional publishers, like Boosey and Hawkes. But since there is no music written yet, you'll be forgiven for missing the largest change of all: our new notation font: Leland, which is named after Leland Smith, the creator of a now abandoned application called SCORE, which was known for the amazing quality of its engraving. We have spent a lot of time finessing this font to be a world beater.”

— Martin Keary, product owner of MuseScore

Equally as important as the new notation style is the new vertical layout system. This is switched on by default for new scores and can be activated on older scores too. It is a tremendous improvement to how staves are vertically arranged and will save the composer’s work hours by significantly reducing his reliance on vertical spacers and manual adjustment.

MuseScore 3.6 developers also created a system for automatically organizing the instruments on your score to conform with a range of common conventions (orchestral, marching band, etc.). Besides, newly created scores will also be accurately bracketed by default. A user can even specify soloists, which will be arranged and bracketed according to your chosen convention. These three new systems result from a collaboration between Simon Smith and the MuseScore community member, Niek van den Berg.

MuseScore team has also greatly improved how the software displays the notation fonts: Emmentaler and Bravura, which more accurately match the original designers' intentions and have included a new jazz font called 'Petaluma' designed by Anthony Hughes at Steinberg.

Lastly, MuseScore has made some beneficial improvements to the export process, including a new dialog containing lots of practical and time-saving settings. This work was implemented by one more community member, Casper Jeukendrup.

The team's current plans are to improve the engraving capabilities of MuseScore, including substantial overhauls to the horizontal spacing and beaming systems. MuseScore 3.6 may be a massive step, although there is a great deal of work ahead.

Links

Official release notes: MuseScore 3.6

Martin Keary’s video: “How I Designed a Free Music Font for 5 Million Musicians (MuseScore 3.6)”

Official video: “MuseScore 3.6 - A Massive Engraving Overhaul!”

Download MuseScore for free: MuseScore.org

MuseScore Created New Font in Memory of Original SCORE Program Creator

Image
MuseScore

MuseScore represents a free notation software for operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux. It is designed and suitable for music teachers, students & both amateur and professional composers. MuseScore is released as FOSS under the GNU GPL license and it’s accompanied by freemium MuseScore.com sheet music catalogue with mobile score viewer, playback app and an online score sharing platform. In 2018, the MuseScore company was acquired by Ultimate Guitar, which included full-time paid developers in the open source team. Since 2019 the MuseScore design team has been led by Martin Keary, known as blogger Tantacrul, who has consistently criticized composer software in connection with design and usability. From that moment on, a qualitative change was set in motion in MuseScore.

Historically, the engraving quality in MuseScore has not been entirely satisfactory. After the review by Martin Keary, MuseScore product owner (previously known as MuseScore head of design) and Simon Smith, an engraving expert, who has produced multiple detailed reports on the engraving quality of MuseScore 3.5, it has become apparent that some key engraving issues should be resolved immediately.That would have a significant impact on the overall quality of our scores. Therefore, these changes will considerably improve the quality of scores published in the sheet music catalog, MuseScore.com.

The MuseScore 3.6 was called 'engraving release,' which addressed many of the biggest issues affecting sheet music's layout and appearance and resulted from a massive collaboration between the community and internal team.

MuseScore sheet

 

Two of the most notable additions in this release are Leland, our new notation font and Edwin, our new typeface.

Leland is a highly sophisticated notation style created by Martin Keary & Simon Smith. Leland aims to provide a classic notation style that feels 'just right' with a balanced, consistent weight and a finessed appearance that avoids overly stylized quirks.

The new typeface, Edwin, is based on the New Century Schoolbook, which has long been the typeface of choice by some of the world's leading publishers, explicitly chosen as a complementary companion to Leland. We have also provided new default style settings (margins, line thickness, etc.) to compliment Leland and Edwin, which match conventions used by the world's leading publishing houses.

MuseScore - Leland Smith, the creator of SCORE program

“Then there's our new typeface, Edwin, which is an open license version of new Century Schoolbook - long a favourite of professional publishers, like Boosey and Hawkes. But since there is no music written yet, you'll be forgiven for missing the largest change of all: our new notation font: Leland, which is named after Leland Smith, the creator of a now abandoned application called SCORE, which was known for the amazing quality of its engraving. We have spent a lot of time finessing this font to be a world beater.”

— Martin Keary, product owner of MuseScore

Equally as important as the new notation style is the new vertical layout system. This is switched on by default for new scores and can be activated on older scores too. It is a tremendous improvement to how staves are vertically arranged and will save the composer’s work hours by significantly reducing his reliance on vertical spacers and manual adjustment.

MuseScore 3.6 developers also created a system for automatically organizing the instruments on your score to conform with a range of common conventions (orchestral, marching band, etc.). Besides, newly created scores will also be accurately bracketed by default. A user can even specify soloists, which will be arranged and bracketed according to your chosen convention. These three new systems result from a collaboration between Simon Smith and the MuseScore community member, Niek van den Berg.

MuseScore team has also greatly improved how the software displays the notation fonts: Emmentaler and Bravura, which more accurately match the original designers' intentions and have included a new jazz font called 'Petaluma' designed by Anthony Hughes at Steinberg.

Lastly, MuseScore has made some beneficial improvements to the export process, including a new dialog containing lots of practical and time-saving settings. This work was implemented by one more community member, Casper Jeukendrup.

The team's current plans are to improve the engraving capabilities of MuseScore, including substantial overhauls to the horizontal spacing and beaming systems. MuseScore 3.6 may be a massive step, although there is a great deal of work ahead.

Links

Official release notes: MuseScore 3.6

Martin Keary’s video: “How I Designed a Free Music Font for 5 Million Musicians (MuseScore 3.6)”

Official video: “MuseScore 3.6 - A Massive Engraving Overhaul!”

Download MuseScore for free: MuseScore.org

Virtual Machine Startup Shells Closes the Digital Divide One Cloud Computer at a Time

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Shells Virtual Machine and Cloud Computing

Startup turns devices you probably already own - from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and game consoles - into full-fledged computers.

Shells (shells.com), a new entrant in the virtual machine and cloud computing space, is excited to launch their new product which gives new users the freedom to code and create on nearly any device with an internet connection.  Flexibility, ease, and competitive pricing are a focus for Shells which makes it easy for a user to start-up their own virtual cloud computer in minutes.  The company is also offering multiple Linux distros (and continuing to add more offerings) to ensure the user can have the computer that they “want” to have and are most comfortable with.

The US-based startup Shells turns idle screens, including smart TVs, tablets, older or low-spec laptops, gaming consoles, smartphones, and more, into fully-functioning cloud computers. The company utilizes real computers, with Intel processors and top-of-the-line components, to send processing power into your device of choice. When a user accesses their Shell, they are essentially seeing the screen of the computer being hosted in the cloud - rather than relying on the processing power of the device they’re physically using.

Shells was designed to run seamlessly on a number of devices that most users likely already own, as long as it can open an internet browser or run one of Shells’ dedicated applications for iOS or Android. Shells are always on and always up to date, ensuring speed and security while avoiding the need to constantly upgrade or buy new hardware.

Shells offers four tiers (Lite, Basic, Plus, and Pro) catering to casual users and professionals alike. Shells Pro targets the latter, and offers a quad-core virtual CPU, 8GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, and unlimited access and bandwidth which is a great option for software engineers, music producers, video editors, and other digital creatives.

Using your Shell for testing eliminates the worry associated with tasks or software that could potentially break the development environment on your main computer or laptop. Because Shells are running round the clock, users can compile on any device without overheating - and allow large compile jobs to complete in the background or overnight. Shells also enables snapshots, so a user can revert their system to a previous date or time. In the event of a major error, simply reinstall your operating system in seconds.

“What Dropbox did for cloud storage, Shells endeavors to accomplish for cloud computing at large,” says CEO Alex Lee. “Shells offers developers a one-stop shop for testing and deployment, on any device that can connect to the web. With the ability to use different operating systems, both Windows and Linux, developers can utilize their favorite IDE on the operating system they need. We also offer the added advantage of being able to utilize just about any device for that preferred IDE, giving devs a level of flexibility previously not available.”

“Shells is hyper focused on closing the digital divide as it relates to fair and equal access to computers - an issue that has been unfortunately exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic,” Lee continues. “We see Shells as more than just a cloud computing solution - it’s leveling the playing field for anyone interested in coding, regardless of whether they have a high-end computer at home or not.”

Follow Shells for more information on service availability, new features, and the future of “bring your own device” cloud computing:

Website: https://www.shells.com

Twitter: @shellsdotcom

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shellsdotcom

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shellscom

An Introduction to Linux Gaming thanks to ProtonDB

An Introduction to Linux Gaming thanks to ProtonDB

Video Games On Linux? 

In this article, the newest compatibility feature for gaming will be introduced and explained for all you dedicated video game fanatics. 

Valve releases its new compatibility feature to innovate Linux gaming, included with its own community of play testers and reviewers.

In recent years we have made leaps and strides on making Linux and Unix systems more accessible for everyone. Now we come to a commonly asked question, can we play games on Linux? Well, of course! And almost, let me explain. 

Proton compatibility layer for Steam client 

With the rising popularity of Linux systems, valve is going ahead of the crowd yet again with proton for their steam client (computer program that runs your purchased games from Steam). Proton is a variant of Wine and DXVK that lets Microsoft Games run on Linux operating systems. Proton is backed by Valve itself and can easily be added to any steam account for Linux gaming, through an integration called "Steam Play." 

Lately, there has been a lot of controversy as Microsoft is rumored to someday release its own app store and disable downloading software online. In response, many companies and software developers are pressured to find a new "haven" to share content with the internet. Proton might be Valve's response to this and is working to make more of its games accessible to Linux users. 

Activating Proton with Steam Play 

Proton is integrated into the Steam Client with "Steam Play." To activate proton, go into your steam client and click on Steam in the upper right corner. Then click on settings to open a new window.

Linux Gaming Steamplay
Steam Client's settings window

 

From here, click on the Steam Play button at the bottom of the panel. Click "Enable Steam Play for Supported Titles." After, it will ask you to restart steam, click yes and you are ready to play after the restart.

Your computer will now play all of steam's whitelisted games seamlessly. But, if you would like to try other games that are not guaranteed to work on Linux, then click "Enable Steam Play for All Other Titles."

What Happens if a Game has Issues?

Don't worry, this can and will happen for games that are not in Steam's whitelisted games archive. But, there is help for you online on steam and in proton's growing community. Be patient and don't give up! There will always be a solution out there.