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See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


What's up with Java development? People started asking after they realized that nobody has heard much from the Blackdown porting project for quite some time. The process seems to move very slowly, everybody is still waiting for Java 1.2. The 1.2 porting status page has not been updated since June.

The answer seems to be that the Blackdown folks are still at work, and still enthused about getting the product out. They are hung up on some difficult issues, such as getting native threads to work and dealing with the large variety of X servers, display hardware, and window managers that one encounters in the Linux world. The Blackdown team could certainly use some more help; people who are looking for something to do might want to donate a little effort to this project.


What happened to the perl.org web site? Recent visitors to the site have encountered a login prompt, rather than the Perl information they were after. The answer is that perl.org is going through a major makeover. The old site, for the (now defunct) Perl Institute, is still available if you go instead to tpi.perl.org.

The Perl vs. Python flame war on comp.lang.perl.misc is good reading for those who like incendiary text. Most of the rest of us will likely want to ignore it. The extent to which this exchange has dominated the newsgroup can be seen in the posting statistics for the newsgroup. Both languages would be much better off if that energy were to go into hacking up cool things instead...


A new version of python-mode for emacs is available, details in the announcement.. This major mode is most useful in editing Python programs; the indentation management is worthwhile by itself.

Those of you who bought Mark Lutz's Python Pocket Reference have probably noticed that it is actually a very hard book to use. In response to "requests," O'Reilly has put up an index for the Pocket Reference up on their web site. Suitably printed, it should be a helpful addition to this book.

The Python Sound Toolkit has been announced by the folks at PythonWare. The bad news: it currently only works on Windows and Solaris. Surely there's no end of Linux Python hackers out there who can help them to remedy this little defect...

Python-URL! is back, here is this week's issue. Please note that some of the deja.com links appear not to work...


Reminder: Paper submissions for the 7th USENIX Tcl/Tk Conference are due September 1. Details in this announcement.

And here is this week's Tcl-URL.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

August 19, 1999



Development projects


Here is this week's GNOME summary, by Havoc Pennington.

High availability

Alan Robertson has released version 0.4.2 of his heartbeat code, which monitors a cluster and keeps things going in the presence of node failures. As he puts it, "it's getting dangerously close to being useful."


Last week's KDE development news arrived too late for the weekly newsletter; here it is for those who did not see it on the daily updates page.

A similar fate appears to have befallen this week's summary...


Henri Bergius has, as usual, provided us with the Midgard weekly summary. Among other things, it looks like they plan to release Midgard 1.2 this Friday, August 20.


The folks at WorldForge have announced the release of the first client and server for their "OpenContent" multiplayer online gaming system. They are looking for feedback and development help...


Here's this week's Wine news, posted by Doug Ridgway.

The Wine folks have also put out the 990815 Wine release. It is, of course, a developers-only release.

Alexandre Julliard has a full-time job working on Wine. He has been hired by Codeweavers to hack on the system, more information can be found in their press release This is a great thing for Wine development.


Zope 2.0 beta 4 was released on Wednesday, August 11. Since then, a posting from Digital Creations has indicated that beta 5 should come out sometime this week, and, if there are no major problems, the true 2.0 release should happen sometime next week.

2.0 has all kinds of good stuff, including multithreading in the server, a new version of the Zope object database, WebDAV support, XML-RPC support, and a whole lot of other improvements. It also has parts of the long-awaited "Portal Toolkit"; ZClasses (web-based development of new objects) and ZCatalog (fancy searching). More information can be found on the download page.

Missing still from Zope 2.0 will be "Membership" - a controlled way of running "accounts" on a Zope server. They still plan to add it, but no word as to when.

A beta version of the new zope.org site is available, see the announcement for details on how to get to it and a description of what's there. It's a bit of a tease, since it uses the membership functions that are not currently available... Perhaps the nicest immediately-visible feature, however, is the long-absent "search" box in the corner.

The state of Zope documentation was the topic of much discussion this week, after a frustrated user sent an "I give up" message to the discussion list. It is true that Zope's documentation has never been great - they have been far too busy trying to make an always-better product available. In addition, the independent "Zope Documentation Project" appears to have bogged down for the time being. They, too, would rather work with Zope than write about it.

The 2.0 release can only make this problem worse, as the software moves ahead of what documentation does exist. There is a clear need here for more effort to go into the documentation effort. Digital Creations is making some moves in that direction, but more effort - including from the user community - is clearly needed.

The Zope Weekly News was sent in by Pam Crosby this week, since Amos Latteier is taking a well-deserved break.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


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