Welcome to the 13th issue of TMPDIR, a weekly newsletter covering Embedded Linux, IoT systems, and technology in general. Subscribe to future issues at https://tinyletter.com/tmpdir and pass it on to anyone else you think might be interested. Please send any tips or feedback to info@tmpdir.org.


Yocto 3.4 ( honister ) has been released. It is massive amount of recipe updates in core layer approximatetely 280 out of 800 odd packages. Next release 3.5 is codenamed 'kirkstone' is scheduled in April 2022 and will be second LTS in series. Support for Rust has been added in this release. Software bill-of-materials (SBOM) based on SPDX has also been integrated.


Simple IoT is now even easier to embed in your Go application as there is now a single entry point for starting the SIOT server. This entry point returns a NATS connection which you can use to interact with the SIOT store via convenience functions in the SIOT nats package. At this point, the preferred API for SIOT is NATS. There are several advantages to this:

  • we have visibility into all data changes
  • clients can easily subscribe to data changes
  • there are NATS client packages/libraries for many languages

We been integrating Simple IoT into a customer's Go application to replace the data store and add distributed data sync, so the question crossed my mind -- how many hours do I have in this project. Since, I track all my time, it was simple to run a report -- currently totals 1020.5 hours. Not a huge amount as it's mostly one guy's spare time, but I've been at it since 2018-11, so little bits add up. -- cb


There are now serious ARM based server/workstation available with 32 cores. This machine uses an Ampere CPU, as does the CI machine we use to test the Yoe Distribution.

In 1980, Tony Hoare (recipient of the Turing award) delivered a lecture titled The Emperor’s Old Clothes 7. Tony discusses some of his successes and failures, and what he has learned from them. His conclusions ring true – the importance of simplicity, documentation, etc. Find notes/discussion about this lecture here.

Moving Past the Cloud is an excellent talk by Brooklyn Zelenka from the fission project and is a good view into the future of distributed data and computing. Some things from the talk that stood out:

  • by 2025, 75% of data will be processed outside the traditional data center or cloud
  • Sensor data explosion will kill the cloud – existing infrastructure will not be able to handle the volumes or the rates
  • permissions and encryption are easy to handle with a tree of data – you can give permissions at any point in the tree.
  • For syncing data, a set is a lot more efficient than a log or graph.
  • some things like authentication actually get simpler and the parties involved are more in control

It seems with the Simple IoT project, we are somewhat aligned with this vision as we are focusing on a distributed, edge centered architecture, handling permissions in a tree, etc. However, our data syncing is graph based, so there may be better ways to do this with sets. We also don’t have a good peer model yet – distributed operation is only upstream to larger instances, etc.

It seems clear that the future is not heavy, cloud-centered architectures that are dependent on one vendor, but rather flexible architectures where you can own the platform, and can organize it any way you like.

Quote for the week

I gave desperate warnings against the obscurity, the complexity, and over-ambition of the new design, but my warnings went unheeded. I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.

The first method is far more difficult. It demands the same skill, devotion, insight, and even inspiration as the discovery of the simple physical laws which underlie the complex phenomena of nature. It also requires a willingness to accept objectives which are limited by physical, logical, and technological constraints, and to accept a compromise when conflicting objectives cannot be met. -- Tony Hoare

Join our Discourse forum to discuss these or new topics. Listen to previous podcasts at https://tmpdir.org/.

Thanks for reading!

Khem and Cliff