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Development projects

News and Editorials

To Sun, regarding Java: let the developers lead. Check out our Development tools section below or this week's Commerce page and you'll see a flood of Java-related announcements, all associated with the ongoing JavaOne 2000 conference this week. One particular item that caught our attention was this ZDnet article, which talks about the concerns of Java developers.

Java developers told a panel of Sun executives Monday night that Sun should spend less time adding new features to Java and more time making Java reliable across all its major platforms. In a free-wheeling question-and-answer session with some of Sun's top software executives, developers said Sun needs to do a better job fixing bugs and should make updated source code available regardless of whether Sun decides to make Java open source. 'I've been developing seriously in Java for four years and I don't see real reliability, which to me is the most important thing for really robust B-to-B e-commerce,' said one developer.
These comments reminded us forcefully of similar problems with other commercial products (a certain alternative operating system comes to mind). When marketing drives development, a call for "powerful new features" goes out, to make for splashier headlines and better media hype. Unfortunately, if bug-fixes are not made a priority, reliability becomes a larger and larger problem. The code base gets bigger and harder to maintain. The longer problems go unfixed, the more difficult it becomes to find and fix them without introducing yet new problems. Pretty soon, customers are seeing and dealing with daily crashes. They'll put up with that only until they have an alternative.

Sun, think carefully about what you are doing. An unreliable Java platform is every bit as much of a problem as an unreliable operating system. If Java proves untrustworthy, there are other alternatives out there already -- and they are already open source.


Total Recall V.01. Alphanumerica has released version .01 of Total Recall, a Mozilla crash recovery tool which allows the recovery of all browser windows as they were prior to the crash.


PostgreSQL 7.0.2 Released. PostgreSQL 7.0.2 is now available. This version fixes some bugs from version 7.0 and includes some missing documentation.


Linux in Education Report #21. The Linux in Education Report #21 has been published. Topics include a new release of Red Escolar, the initiative to put Linux into Mexican schools, plus a report on Linux in South African schools and more links to Linux educational software projects.

LinuxForKids revamped and refurbished. After a hiatus of about a month (timed to the arrival of a beautiful new daughter), LinuxForKids has returned with a new site design, support for both English and French and the ability for readers to rate and post comments about the games. Chris is also looking for people interested in supporting Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese translations of the site.


OpenEDA web-site announced. OpenEDA.org is a new web-site from Silicon Integration Initiative, Inc. Here is the announcement. OpenEDA is promised to be a vendor-neutral, Open Source web site for the EDA user community. "'There is a change occurring in the EDA standards arena - a move from specifications developed by committee to open source code maintained by a community,' said Andrew Graham, president of Si2. 'OpenEDA is a neutral web site to host the EDA open source community. This will accelerate interoperability through faster adoption of these open source standards.'"


Loki to port Descent 3 to Linux. Loki Entertainment Software has announced that it will be porting "Descent 3" from Interplay to Linux, with the product to be available by July.

Embedded Systems

Embedded Linux Article (Open Source IT). This Article from Open Source IT discusses the emergence of Linux as a dominant player in the embedded systems world. "But it may actually be Linux that ascends to the top of the heap in the $3.5 billion-per-year market for embedded system development tools. Enthusiasm for embedded Linux systems has grown dramatically over the past two years--even Linus Torvalds has gone on the record to say that it should be a priority for the open source OS."


This week's Wine Weekly News. The June 6 edition of the Wine Weekly News is out. A Wine Status page has been created, which provides a table of current aspects or components under development, estimated development and documentation status and the name of recent primary workers.

A feature article this week focuses on DLL overrides.

Network Management

OpenNMS Development News Update v1.11. This week's OpenNMS update indicates that their Java SNMP libraries are just about ready for release. "Just like it says, our home grown Java SNMP libraries are slowly nearing production grade. Later this week, they will be bundled and available for download from the web site as well as via CVS. As a practice, we will not release components outside of CVS, but as this is a significant piece of work which can benefit a number of projects outside our own, we'll make an exception."

Office Applications

AbiWord Weekly News (May 31). The latest edition of the AbiWord Weekly News is now available, with the freshest development report. It contains a link to a discussion on modeless dialogs, if you've been curious about those. A few new features and many fixes have gone in this week.

On the Desktop

KDE 2.0 review (Duke of URL). KDE 2.0 is reviewed in this article from the Duke of URL site. "What can KDE do to improve over an already brilliant operating environment? Add tons of new features and support for the latest QT libraries. Combine that with a slick, new file manager and full support for XFree86 4.0 and you've got yourself gold-that is, if they play their cards right."

KDE 2.0 Screenshots. Mosfet.org has put together a new KDE2 in action screenshot page. If you want to see what's new with KDE2, this is the place.

The XFree86 4.0 (Duke of URL). For an in-depth look at XFree86 4.0, check out this review from the Duke of URL. "Since the new drivers use direct hardware access, no need to be root to play games anymore. This is sure handy because it integrates more functions into a standard user, making the unprivileged user much more practical."

This week's GNOME summary. Here is this week's GNOME summary by Havoc Pennington. It covers the GNOME 1.2 release and a number of other topics.

Gnome Office Review (Linux Planet). Linux Planet has done this review of Gnome Office. "Unlike just about anything else identifying itself as an office suite, GNOME Office is cheerfully formless at this point. The project Web site prefers to refer to GNOME Office as a 'meta project' oriented towards coordinating the development of the disparate elements of an office suite."


Kalamaris for KDE. Kalamaris is a new program for the KDE environment that can be used for plotting mathematical formulas. Kalamaris was modeled after Mathematica and has been licensed under Gnu GPL version 2.

Web-site Development

Midgard Weekly Summary (May 7). This week's Midgard Weekly Summary reports on documentation improvements for Midgard and goals for Midgard 1.4, which is being targeted for a September release frame. "We have concluded that Midgard 1.4 is a powerful content management system and a good publishing tool. However, in our opinion, its primary weakness is a lack of modularity that would allow other OSS projects to use Midgard as the core for their applications."

Apache 2.0 alpha 4 released. The fourth alpha version of Apache 2.0 has been released. It includes 45 bug fixes since the third alpha; things are moving along.

This week's Zope Weekly News. Here is this week's Zope Weekly News, with coverage of Zope's presence at upcoming conferences and various other topics of interest to the Zope community.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

June 8, 2000

Project Links
High Availability

More Information



Development tools


Cilk 5.3 available. The 5.3 version of Cilk has been announced. Cilk is licensed under the GPL. "Cilk is a language for multi-threaded parallel programming based on ANSI C. Cilk is designed for general-purpose parallel programming, but it is especially effective for exploiting dynamic, highly asynchronous parallelism, which can be difficult to write in data-parallel or message-passing style."


Open Object Directory Services Group. The Linux Knowledge Base Organization has announced the formation of the Open Object Directory Services Group. "The OODS Group will function as a separate open source project with the goal of creating a scaleable, modular, distributed directory service built upon CORBA which will then power the next generation Linux Knowledge Base Org. web site."


Blackdown Java Platform 2 SDK Version 1.3. The Blackdown team has updated their Status Page for their port of Sun's JDK 1.3, promising the availability of the first Blackdown build in June. The updated page indicates a slight shift in the working relationship between Sun and the Blackdown team, now that Sun is officially supporting the Linux platform (on Intel x86). "The Blackdown team has been licensed to have access to the Java2 v1.3.0 and the HotSpot source code. The differences to Sun's version will be very small as we are working on the same code base. The most noticeable difference is that we will continue to support non-ix86 platforms too."

Blackdown JCK progress. From modifications made this week to the Blackdown JCK Status page for the Java 2 port, it appears that some substantial progress has been made on getting the Blackdown x86 port past the Runtime API Interactive tests in the Java Compatibility Kit (JCK), both with green threads and classic threads. Only the Runtime VM portions of the JCK still show ongoing problems. Passing all of the 17,000 tests in the JCK is required before Blackdown can release a final version of their Java 2 port.

Enhydra Enterprise source code release. Lutris.com has announced the release of the Enhydra Enterprise source code to the Open Source community. Lutris.com previously released the base Enhydra server code under a FreeBSD-style license. Enhydra Enterprise is being released under the EPL, derived from Mozilla Public License. Enhydra is a Java/XML application server.

Lutris has also announced that it will be distributing an open source wireless developer kit at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.


Yet another Perl Conference. The Yet another Perl Conference is going on June 21 through 23 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Perl-rpm 0.25 Released. A new version of Perl-RPM has been released. This package gives perl access to Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) databases.


PHP. The latest PHP update is now available. Included is a case study of how PHP is being used on Lycos's MP3 search engine.


Interview: Guido Van Rossum (Be Open). Be Open interviews Guido Van Rossum and discusses open source development. "Actually, languages have had something like an open source development for a very long time. Starting, I think, in the Sixties, there have been standardization committees involving all sorts of languages. Languages that were not developed in an open fashion would only succeed if they were aimed at a very narrow application domain"

This week's Python-URL. Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL by Andrew Kuchling. It includes brief coverage of Guido's move to BeOpen, the release of PythonWorks 1.0, and more.

Snake Charming (Borland). In the article Snake Charming, Juancarlo Anez gives a good overview of writing and optimizing a Python program that is suitable for people who are learning the language.


Tcl/Java 1.2.6 available. The Tcl/Java 1.2.6 release is now online. Stable releases of Jacl and Tcl Blend are available from Scriptics. 6 months worth of back-ported bug fixes from the 1.3 development version are included. Mo Dejong reports, "If you have ever wanted to use scripting with Java, Tcl/Java is the way to go. You can use it to extend an existing Java application or regression test a Java application without having to write Java code".

Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL. Check this week's Tcl-URL for more Tcl/Tk news.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

Language Links
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Perl News
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