360° IT Check #17 — Google Cloud Carbon Footprint Reports, 25 Years of KDE, And More!
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360° IT Check #17 — Google Cloud Carbon Footprint Reports, 25 Years of KDE, And More!

Automated Machine Learning for Images from Microsoft

Microsoft is “excited to announce the Public Preview of automated ML (AutoML) for Images within Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML).” The new feature is supposed to boost “data scientist productivity when building computer vision models for tasks such as image classification, object detection, and instance segmentation.”

Crucially, Azure ML customers can now build their models trained on image data, without writing any training code. Should you want to do that anyway, writing the models for computer vision tasks is possible, thanks to the Azure ML Python SDK.

The overarching goal of the solution is to “easily build and optimize computer vision models while offering flexibility and control over the entire model training and deployment process.”

Google Cloud Carbon Footprint Reports

In the World we live in, we have to set goals leading to the decrease in carbon emission as to not lead to a widespread ecological disaster. Tech companies need to manage their emission as well, since providing services on the internet. For instance, watching half an hour of video equals 0.2 kg of carbon dioxide (0.200 kgCO2e per 30 minutes of video).

One cannot manage what one cannot measure, which is perhaps why Google shared a tool on managing carbon emissions for Google Cloud Users. There are three benefits that the Cloud Provider mentions: 

  • Accurately measure your gross carbon footprint
  • Track the emissions profile of cloud projects
  • Share detailed methodology with reviewers

The reports are packaged in an easy-to-use dashboard. Furthermore, you can export your data to BigQuery, break everything down by product, region, and month, and see how you can reduce your emissions.

Google is following Microsoft, which has shared their Microsoft Emissions Impact Dashboard before the company from Mountain View, California. One has to praise the moves from tech giants to enable their clients to become more “green” in an effort to avoid a global climate catastrophe.

25 Years of KDE

Plasma, KDE’s project; one of the most popular desktop environments for Linux distributions (distros), turned 25 last week. It is known to the world as one of the best-looking environments for Linux distros out there.

Exactly at 9 o’clock, Matthias Ettrich emailed “de.comp.os.linux.misc” group with the title “New Project: Kool Desktop Environment. Programmers wanted!” He needed help developing the environment, and a set of apps to go along with it. As he noted towards the end, his project was destined to get negative feedback, as this was not what Linux developers wanted at the time:

BTW: Usually these postings get a lot of answers like "Use a Mac if you want
a GUI, CLI rules!", "I like thousands of different widgets-libraries on my
desktop, if you are too stupid to learn them, you should use windoze", "RAM
prices are so low, I only use static motif programs", "You will never
succeed, so better stop before the beginning", "Why Qt? I prefer
schnurz-purz-widgets with xyz-lisp-shell. GPL! Check it out!", etc. Thanks
for not sending these as followup to this posting :-) I know I'm a

Twenty-five years later, and you may enjoy using KDE on Fedora, Ubuntu, and other popular Linux distros. To celebrate the anniversary, the world got to install a new release of the environment, numbered 5.23. 

Congratulations to the whole KDE Team for their quarter of a century running, and here’s to another 25 years!

Stylex - Facebook’s New CSS-in-JS Solution

If you are a fan of embedding JavaScript in everything, we have good news for you. During the “React Finland” conference, Naman Goel, Software Engineer at Facebook has shared the social media giant’s solution to the CSS-in-JS problems.

Stylex, the new library is another one from the line of libraries that compile styling in JavaScript to plain CSS. This is an important feature, as it helps reduce the bundle size of apps — for comparison, “styled-components”, one of the solutions to the same problem is 14 kB of JavaScript. Even though you are able to “remove” (tree-shake) some of it, it is, at the end of the day, additional data you send to the users.

A simple demonstration of the library:

Interestingly, as you add more styles, the size of your styles does not increase too much. The CSS stops growing after a bit — the library generates utility classes that get reused.

To see the details, see the full presentation below.

Bonus: Results of our LinkedIn Survey

Last week, we have asked you about your preference, when it comes to the JavaScript front-end libraries. 

React placed first with 47%, Angular second with 35%, with Vue taking the third spot with 16%. Svelte placed 4th with only 2%. The “framework wars” and having to choose between libraries and frameworks is going to have to be a thing for only a bit longer. Some projects, such as Astro.js, are looking to end that state of affairs.

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