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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

Orbiten Free Software Survey. The first Orbiten Free Software Survey is out. They looked at some 25 million lines of free software code, trying to get a feel for what its developer community looks like. They turned up some 12,000 developers working on more then 3,000 projects. The largest "developer" turns out to be the Free Software Foundation, with some 11% of the total; as the survey points out, the FSF got there because it tends not to credit its individual developers. The top 10% of the developers accounted for 72% of the code overall.

First public BitKeeper release available. According to the development status page for the BitKeeper source management system, the first public release of the code is now available. BitKeeper promises some good things for software management, and may well end up being used to manage the Linux kernel source. It's not 100% "open source" software, however; see this 1999 LWN feature on BitKeeper for details on its licensing. (Thanks to Jay R. Ashworth).

Li18nux draft globalization specification available. The Linux Internationalization Initiative has announced that its "Draft Globalization Specification" is now available for public review. They plan to have a final version out by August, and to have the distributions shipping with standard internationalization by the end of the year.

Browsers and mail clients

CSCMail 1.6 is out. A new stable version of CSCMail has been announced. CSCMail is a GPL'ed graphical mail client. Some of the responses from people who tried it out were quite positive. "Yup, I can agree to some comments, CSCMail rocks ! I tried StarOffice, Mahogany and some other's (i need a graphical one), but CSCMail beats 'em all.. "

MozillaZine news. Top headlines from MozillaZine this week include how to get involved in Mozilla Quality Assurance (QA) and a browser comparison chart from XML.com.


PostgreSQL 7.0 released. PostgreSQL 7.0 contains a large list of new features; see the announcement for the whole thing. It includes implementation of foreign keys, an optimizer overhaul, lots of fixes and cleanups, and much more.

Open source start-up to take on database market (News.com). PostgreSQL joins the list of Linux, Apache, PHP and other open source software products to be the primary product focus of a new company, in this case, a new subsidiary of Landmark Communications, Great Bridge. "The new company is trying to integrate smoothly with the open-source community responsible for the development of PostgreSQL, [Great Bridge CEO Al] Ritter said--in particular the six people at the core of the project. 'We don't want to take over the project. In our view, the real strength of open source is that the project is independent' of any one company, he said."

The Mystery of mySQL (O'ReillyNet). The O'Reilly Network looks at why people use MySQL. "One of the benefits of MySQL is simplicity. It doesn't carry with it some of the overhead of commercial databases. There's not as much to learn and not a lot of unnecessary features."


LPI Weekly News (May 5th). This week's edition of the LPI Weekly Newsindicates that work on the Level II certification exam has begun and includes a new FAQ section. Check there for the status on non-English exams (not anytime soon), the beta testing cycle and what a Linux newbie can do to prepare for their first exam.

SEUL/edu Linux in Education report. This week's SEUL/edu Linux in Education Report looks at scientific applications and a number of other education-related issues.

Embedded Linux

MontaVista announces real-time scheduler for Linux. MontaVista has announced the release of a new scheduler for Linux which enables real-time performance in the standard kernel. A beta version is available now from MontaVista's web site.

Note that this scheduler drops transparently into the Linux system. "The MontaVista scheduler, which executes before the standard Linux scheduler, optimizes Linux process/thread scheduling by only examining and dispatching the highest priority real-time entity that is ready to run. Unlike the Linux scheduler, overhead for process selection is fixed, yielding extremely high performance. If no real-time entity is available for execution, or none has been specified as real-time, then scheduling falls through to the standard scheduler and fairness-based scheduling proceeds apace."


Review: Heavy Gear II (LinuxGames). LinuxGames took a look at Loki Software's release of Heavy Gear II for Linux. "As has been pointed out before, Heavy Gear II has pushed, further than any other game, the limits of Linux as a gaming platform. It incorporates the hardware video acceleration, joystick support, and cross-platform networking. The result is a very solid conversion, and is in fact the first Direct3D game ported to Linux." (From Meerkat).


Wine Weekly News. The Wine Weekly News for May 8th mentions the release of a new Wine book: Wine Administrators Handbook by Michele Petrovsky and Tom Parkinson, plus the usual list of new features, bug-fixes and discussions.

Kernel Cousin Samba. The May 4th edition of the Kernel Cousin Samba is out; it includes a first look at Samba 2.0.7.


Ready, Set, Post! (Law.com). Law.com ran this article about the OpenLaw project. "Of course, there's an obvious pitfall to public brief drafting -- the other side knows the arguments in advance. But Department of Justice lawyers who worked opposite [Lawrence] Lessig in the copyright case say that they were not regular visitors to the center's site." (Thanks to Jay R. Ashworth).


Guatemalan Hospital to Run Linux. LinuxMedNews reports that Antigua's all-volunteer Hermano Pedro hospital will soon have its own Red Hat-based Linux network. Note that updates from Guatemala are being posted on the progress of the installation. "he hospital was built in 1680 and I'm writing this outside of the surgical suite which has stone arches to my right and a door opening onto a garden courtyard on my left. The first order of business will be to run Class 5 cabling throughout the building which by the looks of it will be tough going because everything seems to be made of stone."


OpenNMS update 1.7. This week's OpenNMS update reports the status of this project (which is building network management software) and indicates that the debate between using an Object database or a Relational database is still ongoing. Their wish list this week is for some database experts to join the project, presumably to help get this issue settled correctly. Also included was a great quote of the week:

"Upon going in to the local computer store and telling the customer service dude that my recent purchase didn't work, his surprised response:

'Did the sales guy tell you that this was supposed to work?'

Oooh. Guess I forgot to ask that question. Kinda thought that basic functionality would be included at no additional charge, but then again... "

Office Applications

LyX Development News. A new edition of the LyX Development News is now available. Check it out for information on the upcoming LyX developers meeting June 8 through the 12th in Stokke, Norway, a report on Allan Rae's LyX Presentation at the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Unix and open source Users Group Conference (QAUUG 2000), tips for presenting with acroread and more. Lyx is an open source document processor.

Abiword Weekly News. This week's Abiword Weekly News talks about QNX Development, focus fixes, code cleaning, and RTF import/export fixes.

Blurred Vision - Gimp's Blur Filters (Graphics Muse). Michael J. Hammel has written a Graphics Muse tutorial on how to use the various blur filters that will be packaged with gimp 1.2. "Pixelize does to an image what a bottle of tequila does to your head - makes things all blocky. Technically, pixelize is a low pass filter that operates on the color components of a region bounded by the width specified that is centered on the current pixel."

Gimp News reports .... The Gimp News reports that the Gimp Plug-in Registry now has a plug-in for saving psd files, an important capability for anyone that needs to share layers that can be imported into Adobe PhotoShop.

They also provide a link to Carey Bunk's archive of public domain photos, a useful resource.

On the Desktop

KDE Development News. Here is the latest KDE Development News, by Bill Soudan. It covers many areas, including the 2.0 release: expect it sometime around September.

This week's GNOME summary. Here is this week's GNOME summary, by Havoc Pennington. Top of the news this week is the availability of GNOME application templates in KDevelop...

evolution alpha available?. Dominator pointed out on gnotices that a pre-release of evolution appears to be available on the helixcode ftp site, though no official announcement has been seen as of yet.

KDE.com goes live. KDE news reports that the new KDE.com site went live on May 9th. In spite of the domain name, this is not a commercial site, but instead a community resource, providing searchable mailing lists, documentation, KDE headlines and other portal-like capabilities.

Web site Development

Apache 2.0 alpha 3 released. The third alpha release of Apache 2.0 is out. It is still considered a developer's release, but it may be of interest to those who want to see what the next major release of Apache has to offer.

The First Year of Midgard. Henri Bergius has drafted a look at the first year of Midgard. "It is now a year since Midgard 1.0 was first released on May 8th 1999. While the project has obviously been going on for a longer time than that (first mention of the project is on Bergie's personal Web site, dated April 25th 1998), the 1.0 launch was when the project became public."

Midgard Weekly Summary. This week's Midgard Weekly Summary came out a day early in order to mark the editorial transition from Henri Bergius, who has been the primary editor since its inception, to Ken Pooley, Emiliano Heyns and Ron Parker. The format of the newsletter has been changed to include short interviews, links to relative articles and discussions and a feature article exploring a Midgard-served web site.


A new rendering model for X. Keith Packard has published a paper for this year's Usenix entitled "A New Rendering Model for X". It engendered a lot of enthusiasm from KDE's mosfet, who looks forward to the beneficial impact on KDE (and presumably other desktops ...). "Unlike current solutions, it is to be implemented on the X server without shared memory and does not require rendering inside the application then transferring the entire image to the server - a mess to do, slow, and not something I'm interested in. This is definitely the right way as far as I'm concerned, and will provide the backbone for an advanced canvas and anti-aliased text (font smoothing) for KDE. "

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

May 11, 2000

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Development tools

Python and Perl for the IA64 processor. ActiveState, in partnership with Intel, has announced beta versions of Python and Perl for the Intel Itanium processor. ActiveState will also be provided support to early adopters.


Sun's JAVA 2 version 1.3 released. Version 1.3 of Sun's JAVA 2 platform was announced on May 8th. Currently, though, the only platforms available run on Microsoft systems. Both the Solaris and Linux versions are in beta, with an expected release date "in June". Check out last week's Development Summary for a reference to IBM's early release version of JAVA 2 v1.3.0.

Developers Critique IBM's JDK 1.3 (LinuxMall). Here's a look at reactions to IBM's latest Java release on the LinuxMall.com site. "IBM has released its latest Java developer kit (JDK) for Linux, and early response on the development site suggests its popularity may soon obscure Sun's version. Sifting through the specs, and pondering the kit's various changes is not a light read, but probably is an important one to Linux developers and Java thrill seekers"


perl5-porters digest. The perl5-porters digest for May 1st through 7th indicates that a flame war this week has re-ignited the proposal to introduce light moderation to the list. No final decision has been made, yet. An guide to the p5p list has also been posted.

Meanwhile, perldoc and indexing was the most hotly debated topic of the week.


PHP News. Zend Technologies put out a brief PHP news summary, announcing the availability of PHP 4.0 RC2, now available for download from php.net and a new beta of the Zend Optimizer which is compatible with the PHP RC2 release.

Notes from the php.net site indicate that the RC2 release has CGI binary and ISAPI module included and MySQL support built-in.


This week's Python-URL. This week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL is out, with the usual great roundup of interesting events in the Python world.

Looking for a new maintainer for the Python Linux distribution. This discussion thread announces the need for a new maintainer for the Python4Linux distribution, while simultaneously asking if people still think there is a need for a separate Linux distribution to properly support Python. The post received only one direct reply, from someone who definitely used and appreciated the Python4Linux distribution, but was unable to volunteer to support it. (From Daily Python-URL).


Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL. This week's Tcl-URL contains the usual round of announcements and discussions from comp.lang.tcl.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

Language Links
IBM Java Zone
Perl News
Daily Python-URL

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