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News and Editorials

Is Mozilla a success or a failure?

In a recent osOpinion piece, some of Mozilla's mistakes were pointed out:

It seems obvious that the Mozilla crew bit off far more than they could chew, but I think a deeper problem is that the development team reached too far. They are trying to re-invent an entire *platform* when all most people want is a good browser that doesn't crash.

On the other hand, another osOpinion piece comes to the defense of Mozilla:

Critics complain that the browser is not in release form yet, but want it to be released now. Let the project run its course, let it become the best browser on the market, then it will be released. When it is done, and not before.

What is the real story? The Mozilla project marked the first time that such a large software product was moved from a closed-source to an open-source model. It is not suprising that a few mistakes and some important lessons were learned in the process.

People are concerned that the Mozilla project is running late on delivering a reliable browser. Other complaints are that the project is producing bloatware, not sleekware. The priorities for an open source development are more geared towards producing something that works over shipping on a deadline. Combining that with a large and complex collection of programs almost guarantees a long development period.

Mozilla is trying to replace other bloated browsers; perhaps that's just asking for the same problems instead of coming up with a better way. There are complaints about the reorganization of Mozilla into components, but that may, in fact, be the one change that causes the project to produce some useful code. If the component tools that make up Mozilla prove to be easily split off into other successful projects, such as the Galeon browser, then one could say that the project has been worthwhile.


Mozilla Status Report for July 21. The July 21 Mozilla Status Report is out. Work continues on the repair of numerous bugs.

Mozilla Party Europe. A Mozilla Party Europe is being organized, time and location are to be determined.


Borland releases InterBase 6.0 source code. Borland has announced its release of the InterBase 6.0 database source code. "InterBase 6.0 has been released under a variant on the Mozilla Public License (MPL) V1.1. Developers using InterBase under this license can modify the code or develop applications without being required to open source them. The open source license applies to all platforms."

Embedded Linux

RTAI 24.1.0 adds PPC and 2.4 kernel support (Linux Devices). The Real Time Application Interface (RTAI) development team has announced a new beta release of RTAI. Version 24.1.0 of the RTAI development platform has support for the Linux kernel version 2.4 and adds Power PC support. RTAI is licensed under the LGPL.

Looking at Microwindows (All Linux Devices). Michael Hall of All Linux Devices has written this article on the Microwindows window system and the FreePad wireless web pad. "If you're curious about the building blocks of an embedded Linux device, or just want a peek at how one works underneath the friendly interface, Microwindows is as good a place to start as any."


Wine Weekly News for July 24, 2000. This week's Wine Weekly News is out. The Winsock implementation, CD-ROM label information, link files, and registry implementation are discussed.

Introduction to Samba, Part 3 (IBM). Daniel Robbins has written the third article of the series on an introduction to Samba. This article wraps up the series by discussing the configuration of Samba for sharing directories and printers. For those who haven't seen them, here are the first and second articles in the series.

Network Management

OpenNMS Update Vol 1 Issue 18. The latest OpenNMS Update has been published. News includes a new web site, a recap of the O'Reilly Open Source Conference, JSDT, the Event Subsystem, and capsd.

Office Applications

AbiWord Weekly News (Jul 20). This week's AbiWord Weekly News is now available. Smart quote support won the patch award this week, but the addition of automatic backup on crashes under Unix may win more fans ...

GNOME Office, how far along are we? (Linux Orbit). Linux Orbit's John Gowin compares the Gnome Office tools to Microsoft's desktop applications in this article. "To compare Microsoft Word to Abiword is a little like comparing David to Goliath in a pre-fight analysis. Sure, you have to pick Goliath, he's just so big. Which really is a good analogy. Word has become a monster on the the Windows platform. The proverbial 400 lb gorilla. But like some people, I'm not always fond of the "bigger is better" philosophy."

Eazel does it (Salon.com). Salon.com's Andrew Leonard has reviewed Eazel's Nautilus file manager. "Nautilus, which runs on top of the GNOME GUI and eventually will be part of the default Red Hat Linux distribution, is the first piece of software I've seen that has a credible chance of luring in the masses of computer users who might be interested in Linux but don't have the time to hack text files from a command line any time they want to get some serious work done."

July LyX development news. The LyX Development News for July is out. It covers the beginning of the GTK-- port, and many other topics.

Gphoto's Scott Fritzinger (Linux.com). Linux.com has interviewed Scott Fritzinger, founder of the gPhoto digital camera download software project. The interview touches on Gphoto development, USB ports, and reverse engineering digital camera serial data streams.

On the Desktop

Gnome summary for May 30 - July 21, 2000. The latest Gnome summary is out after a long absence; news includes: StarOffice joining Gnome, an Evolution preview release, and an Inti preview release.

KDE News. The latest news for KDE includes support for GTK themes, and a feature freeze for the upcoming KDE 1.9.2 release. There is also a pre-2.0 KDE progress report. It gives a good overview of where things stand, and has a lot of nice pictures showing the slick things that will be available in the 2.0 release. Worth a look.


Medical Projects at O'Reilly Open Source Convention (Linux Med News). Linux Med News has published this feature article on the medical projects that were discussed at the recent O'Reilly Open Source convention. Clinic related database software and security of patient data are discussed.

Web-site Development

zCommerce first public release. The first public release of zCommerce - a shopping cart and order processing engine for Zope, has been announced.

Border Aware Images 0.4 released for Zope 2.2.0. A new version of the Zope add-on known as "Border Aware Images" is now available. This replaces the Zope built-in-image object.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

July 27, 2000

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Development tools


Red Hat GPLs Source-Navigator IDE (Linux Devices). Red Hat, Inc announced the the release of Source Navigator under the GPL license. "Source-Navigator, along with Insight, the graphical debugger based on gdb, and gcc, the Open Source compiler, forms a fully functional graphical integrated development environment that is used by developers to edit their source code and compile, link, and debug their applications."


White Camel 2000 Recipients. The Perl mongers White Camel Awards were announced at the recent Perl conference. Congratulations go to Chris Nandor (Perl advocacy), Elaine Ashton (user groups) , and Nat Torkington (community).

yapc::Europe registration. There will be a Yet Another Perl Conference::Europe happening from September 22 through 24, 2000 at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London, England. Registration is now open.


Python-dev newsletter. Here is the first Python-dev newsletter by Andrew Kuchling. Python-dev is a hacker-oriented, detailed summary of Python development activity; if all goes well, Andrew will start writing them every two weeks.

Python-URL for July 16. Here is Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for July 26; as always, check it out for the latest in python development news.

Pikipiki cooperative web authorizing system. Pikipiki is a cooperative web authoring tool that is written in Python. Pikipiki is licensed under the GPL license.

Essential Resources for the Python Professional(InformIT). Inform IT's Boudewijn Rempt has written an article on Essential Resources for the Python Professional. The article includes an extensive list of links to all things Python related and gives an overview of the langage. Python hackers should find lots of useful pointers here. Note that the previous/next page buttons in this article are somewhat finicky, but they can be made to work.

Python Enhancement Proposals. The first set of Python PEP's are out, this is a new system that formalizes the process of development on the Python language.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

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Perl News
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