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Development projects

News and Editorials

Cooperative open-source lab opens doors. The big story of the week in open source development had to be the opening of the new Open Source Development Labs outside Beaverton, Oregon. The labs, funded with $24 million from companies like Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Computer Associates, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Dell Computer and SGI, is intended to be a hotbed for open source development in a commercially productive way. Most of the major Linux companies also are involved, including Red Hat, VA Linux Systems, Caldera Systems, SuSE, Turbolinux, Lynuxworks and Linuxcare. Ross Mauri, vice president of Unix software at IBM, has been appointed president of the lab's governing board, while Brian Behlendorf, chief technical officer of CollabNet and co-founder of Apache, is among the board appointees, according to an ZDNet story on the opening of the lab.

Known simply as OSDL, the lab, which was the brainchild of Scott McNeil who was then president of SuSE's American operation, is located near the IBM and Intel facilities in Beaverton and was originally expected to be a subsidized laboratory where open source developers could test and optimize their work on high-end enterprise systems. Unfortunately, not all developers were motivated by the inclusion of commercial interests in their projects. But OSDL is expected to change that. As Nicholas Petreley wrote in LinuxWorld's online magazine, "Until now, companies would have to go to Linus and friends and say, `Please make Linux work better with 32 processors.' Now they are saying, `Here is a machine with 32 processors. Have fun.'"

In its new 11,000 square foot building in the high-tech area west of Portland, Oregon, the lab holds a vast array of equipment for both development and testing by both remote and local participants. Hardware includes 4 4-way and 8-way IA-32 servers, 50 2-way IA-32 servers for load generation, 5.1 terabytes of storage, high-speed fiber switches and gigabit ethernet connections, and multiple developer workstations.

According to News.com, two projects are under way at the lab: "one for getting Linux to work well on servers with as many as 16 CPUs and another for testing the Jabber instant messaging software with more than 64,000 customers exchanging messages."

The opening of this lab will definitely be a boost for commercial hardware vendors hoping to get Linux support for their systems without having to hire the developers to do the work. Who will benefit most from this remains to be seen, but for now all parties seem excited about the possibilities. The question that remains is whether such large scale commercial support can decrease the time to market for new hardware support under Linux.

Rasterman's new toy (LinuxToday.au). Reporting from linux.conf.au, this article in LinuxToday.au focused on a talk given by Rasterman, the mastermind behind the Enlightenment window manager, also known as Carsten Haitzler.

Raster's topic (and new toy) turned out to be his latest project, which he calls "EVAS". EVAS is what Raster described as a 'canvas', and seems to be the latest exciting development in the Linux window manager world. EVAS provides the possibility for Raster to build a whole slew of features into the up and coming Enlightenment 0.17, as well as demonstrating just how powerful XFree86 can be when integrated well with the OpenGL libraries.


Mozilla status updates. The Mozilla project posted their weekly status update. Areas that saw activity this past week included the Necko/Imagelib code, XPToolkit, and print related areas within the rendering code.

Bluefish HTML Editor Review (Linux Orbit). Bluefish, an HTML editor written in GTK+, was reviewed this week in this article from Linux Orbit. "Experienced coders will appreciate the time saved by these dialogs when creating complex tables, forms, and framesets. The dialog options for creating form elements in particular were very well thought out. To a new user who has never created HTML pages before, getting a page created with forms is a simple task with Bluefish. Some of the other tabs include CSS, Javascript, and WML."


MySQL 3.23 pronounced stable. The MySQL team announced this past week that, after 2 years of development, the 3.23 release of that package is fit for human consumption. "Apart from being more stable, more optimized and more portable, the MySQL 3.23 release has several major features not present in the 3.22 or 3.21 releases. These include: full-text search, replication between a master and many slaves and several new table handlers that support large files and transactions by using the Berkeley DB library from Sleepycat Software to implement transaction-safe tables."

MSQL 3 to be released in February. After almost a year of inactivity, Hughes Technologies has announced plans for version 3.0 of the MSQL database.


News from Linux for Kids. Linux for Kids pointed us to a couple of new projects this week. PyTraffic is python based car game while MCSE trainer is an arcade game that teaches mouse skills.


Icarus Verilog. The gEDA project quietly announced this week the release of an Icarus Verilog snapshot.


GIMP News. There have been various bits of GIMP news this month, but we somehow managed to miss them. It's time to catch up:

All GIMP news is courtesy of Zach Beane's GIMP News.


Wine Weekly News. This week's edition of the Wine Weekly News includes coverage of ports to BeOS and S/390, documentation issues and unicode support.

Bind 9.1.0 released. A new version of BIND, an implementation of the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols, has been released. BIND 9.1 has a number of new features as well as numerous bug fixes and cleanups.

Network Management

OpenNMS Updates, Vol 2 Issues 3 and 4. OpenNMS posted two updates this week, one right after last week's LWN Weekly publication deadline and one right before this week's deadline. OpenNMS Volume 2 Issue 3 was published late last week and included news on the changes to the core team, an expanded roadmap, and presentations coming up in Philadelphia and New York.

The latest OpenNMS update, issue 4, includes a discussion on a lightweight interface, user interface and SNMP coding projects status, and updates to the teams speaking engagements.

Office Applications

Aethera Messaging Client Beta 1. theKompany.com released its first public beta of Aethera, a groupware and messaging system designed for use in KDE.

Linux and the Palm Pilot updated. The Linux and the Palm Pilot page has been overhauled and now includes coverage on GNOME integration along with stand alone applications and development tools.

On the Desktop

CVSSearch, KDE code search tool (KDE Dot News). According to KDE Dot News, Amir Michail, creator of the CodeWeb data mining tool, is back with CVSSearch, a tool that searches for code fragments using CVS comments. It will eventually index over 350 KDE applications and promises to be very useful.

Status report: Java in Konqueror. Wynn Wilkes posted an update on Java support being added to KDE's browser, Konqueror. Among other things, he reports that "applet loading via proxies and over https should work now. Https support is achieved by using the JSSE (Java Secure Sockets Extension) classes. They can be obtained from http://java.sun.com/products/jsse/. "

KDE Studio Gold, a development tool for KDE. theKompany.com released a commercial distribution of the open source KDE development tool KDE Studio, which the company calls KDE Studio Gold.

The future of GNOME revealed at Linux.conf.au (LinuxWorld Australia). GNOME hackers George Lebl and Maciej Stachowiak presented a paper at LinuxWorld Australia outlining the future of GNOME, including peeks at GNOME 1.4 and GNOME 2.0. "GNOME Office is becoming quite advanced," said Stachowiak. "We are undecided about whether to incorporate the features of OpenOffice into GNOME or to replace it altogether."

Sun to host GNOME development meeting. Sun will host a development briefing covering GNOME Application Development for Solaris on February 14th in Menlo Park, California.

xml-i18n-tools released. Kenneth Christiansen and company have just released the xml-i18n-tools. This set of translation tools will be used accross a wide range of GNOME applications in order to help bring you GNOME in your local language.

Printing Services

KDE.com Offers Free Docbook Compilation Service. As reported on KDE Dot News: a new "DocBook documentation generator" has been set up on KDE.com. It will generate HTML from the KDE DocBook documentation, thus saving the hassle of making DocBook work on your local system. It's a nice service, but it does highlight just how obnoxious it can be to make DocBook work properly.


LinuxMedNews launches jobs section. LinuxMedNews launched a jobs and classifieds section to their growing web site. They also reported on the upcoming 14th Computer-based Medical System Symposium.

Systems Administration

Mailman Made Easy (WebTechniques). WebTechniques took a look this week at installing and configuring the Mailman mail list manager. "Mailman is the free software contender to mail-server products such as Lyris, which feature GUI-driven administration, user-level access to preferences, and built-in archives, digests, and the like. Based on the popular Python programming language, Mailman is intended to be used on UNIX systems, and can be installed alongside Majordomo on the same server, without conflicts."

PIKT, Problem Informant/Killer Tool, v1.12.1. PIKT is a cross-platform, multi-functional tool for monitoring systems, reporting and fixing problems, and managing and administering system configurations in a heterogeneous network of workstations. Version 1.12.1, primarily a bug fix release, was made available for download this week.

Web-site Development

Zope Weekly News for January 19th, 2001. The latest issue of the Zope Weekly News has hit the streets. News this week includes updates on Zope 2.3, documentation issues and the new Zope.org web site.

Zope 2.3.0 beta3. The third beta release of Zope 2.3.0 has been released. It includes the new Zope cache manager, the SiteAccess package, and a whole list of other goodies.

Weblog 1.71. A new release of Weblog hit the streets earlier this week. This version includes support for Avantgo and VoiceXML, among other things.

Section Editor: Michael J. Hammel

January 25, 2001

Application Links
High Availability

Open Source Code Collections
Le Serveur Libre



Programming Languages


Cultured Perl: Perl 5.6 for C and Java programmers (IBM developerWorks). In this look at the upcoming Perl 5.6 release, Teodor Zlatanov shows us the feature differences between Perl and standard languages like C and C++. "Perl often bewilders even experienced programmers, primarily because it allegedly makes it too easy to write obfuscated code. But the confusion regarding Perl's structure, features, and philosophy is inevitable given that it's such a rich and powerful language, and that it was designed from the start to allow for more than one way to do the same thing."

This week on perl5-porters (15--21 Jan 2001). This week's Perl5-porters mailing list was rather active, covering topics such as signals, large file support, token parsing and printing, and unicode.

A Beginner's Introduction to POE (Perl.com). Perl.com also carried an introduction to POE, the Perl Object Environment. "It's not much of an exaggeration to say that POE is a small operating system written in Perl, with its own kernel, processes, interprocess communication (IPC), drivers, and so on."


PHP Weekly Summary for January 24th, 2001. The weekly summary for PHP was posted just as we went to publish this week. News included the announcement of PHPLIB and PEAR merging, discussions on advanced data types for PHP, and the report of a bug in the handling of multi-dimensional forms.


Python 2.1a1. Guido van Rossum has announced the release of Python 2.1a1, the first alpha release of Python 2.1.

Jython 2.0 released. The release of Jython 2.0 has been announced. Jython is a Java implementation of the Python programming language, which allows Python to be compiled down to Java byte code. Thus, Python code can be run on Java virtual machines anywhere - at least, to the extent that any Java code can.

Python-Dev for January 15th, 2001. News from the python development community comes from the Python-Dev weekly summary, which includes this week an update on the 2.1alpha1 release, speed improvements in file.readline, and updates on pydoc.

Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! for January 22nd. Dr. Dobb's weekly list of Python-related links has been posted. Some of the links in this week's summary include the announcement for Jython 2.0, an overview of python documentation tools and a preview of Tkinter 3k.


Updated stable snapshot. A new stable snapshot of Ruby was announced this week.


Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! for January 22nd. Dr. Dobb's weekly list of Tcl-related links has been posted. Some of the links in this week's summary include news on the 8th annual Tcl/Tk conference in San Diego to be held in July and a discussion on why python has surpassed Tcl and related issues.

Software Development Tools

Loki releases updates to open source packages. Loki Software has published updates to their Setup, Update Tool, Uninstall Tool and Patch Tools.

Section Editor: Michael J. Hammel

Language Links
Caml Hump
g95 Fortran
Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC)
Gnu Compiler for the Java Language (GCJ)
IBM Java Zone
Free the X3J Thirteen (Lisp)
Use Perl
O'Reilly's perl.com
Dr. Dobbs' Perl
PHP Weekly Summary
Daily Python-URL
Python Eggs
Ruby Garden
MIT Scheme
Why Smalltalk
Tcl Developer Xchange
O'Reilly's XML.com
Regular Expressions

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