Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Development page.
News and EditorialsLet's move towards easier software installations. In the world of open-source software, "payment" comes in the form of recognition and fame and programs with a large user base are more likely to succeed. Therefore, it is in the programmer's interest for their code to be widely used. This should provide a strong incentive for developers to support easy installation of their software, but the reality doesn't always match up. Unworkable installations cause the open-source community to suffer because an otherwise good application will go unused.
We should go the extra mile and provide easy installation; it may be the difference between code going somewhere or languishing in the dust. A lot of effort may go into the writing of software; a small amount of the developers' time should also go into streamlining the installation process. Here are some basic suggestions that would help.
First, installation should be easy for novices and experts alike. Many installations require a well-seasoned software developer to deal with tricky compiler problems and dependencies. Often, such a person just isn't available. Build your installation for the average person, not for the expert.
Second, consider dependencies. It is common and desirable for packages to utilize code and capabilities already available in an existing package. When one program depends on another, though, an update to one package can break a package that depends upon it. Often older versions of dependency code get aged off of the distribution sites. If practical, it is a good idea to make a working version of the dependency code available for download with the dependent code.
Third, test on multiple distributions. Developers should build their code to work on a generic Linux system, possibly with the use of the Linux Development Platform Specification. Testing should preferably be done on several different distributions.
Software package systems such as RPM and dpkg are one very good solution to many of the problems mentioned above. Package maintainers would do well to distribute their code in one or more of these package formats, and keep the packaged versions up to date. Open source systems will move forward faster if the component pieces are more available to "regular folks". Let's make it easier to use!
Mozilla Status Update. The latest Mozilla Status Update is out. News includes bug fixes and improvements to the LDAP code.
XUL Reference Available. Zvon.org has made an XUL Reference available for downloading. The reference can be read online with Mozilla M17.
Icarus Verilog compiler 20000819 snapshot. A new snapshot of the Icarus Verilog compiler has been released. Verilog is an electronic simulation and synthesis tool.
Wine release 20000821. The August 21, 2000 release of Wine has been announced. Improvements include bug fixes, DocBook SGML documentation, thread-safe GDI, and improved DBCS support.
Timpanogas Research Group announces open source NetWare compatible system. The Timpanogas Research Group has announced a project to create an open source, NetWare-compatible operating system in 2001. TRG has already been supporting a free NetWare filesystem for Linux; the kernel for the new system is available as well. They are pulling in a lot of Linux kernel code to fill in much of the needed capabilities. Of course, they would like to hear from anybody who wants to contribute.
OpenNMS update for August 22. Here is the OpenNMS update for August 22, covering the "Boulevard of Broken Arms" and other events in OpenNMS development.
Firestarter 0.4.1 announced. Firestarter 0.4.1 has been announced. Firestarter is a GNOME based gui tool for creation of a firewall system.
AbiWord Weekly News for August 17. The AbiWord Weekly News for August 17 (which actually covers two weeks) is out. New features include an improved PalmDoc exporter, completion of the Zoom dialog, and an improved lists dialog.
Review: Nautilus 0.1. Eric Kidd has posted a review of Nautilus 0.1 on the UserLand Discussion site. "Guess what: The folks at Eazel haven't lost any of their old magic. Nautilus is slick, slick enough to make Michael Dell start wondering about Linux on the desktop." Here is where you can download Nautilus preview release 1 to try it out for yourself.
On the Desktop
Simon Hausmann on KDE components. Simon Hausmann writes about some common misconceptions concerning KDE's component technologies.
Evolution 0.4.1 released. Evolution 0.4.1 has been released. Evolution is the GNOME mailer, calendar, and addressbook application.
The Computer History Graphing Project version 0.4. The Computer History Graphing Project has released version 0.4. This project's goal is to graph the progress of computers under a family tree. Thanks to Scott Fenton
The return of the Midgard Weekly Summary. After a bit of an absence, the Midgard Weekly Summary is back. It contains, as always, the latest in the development of the Midgard application server system.
IBM Open Sources SashXB (Gnome.org). IBM has released another package as open-source under the LGPL license. "SashXB is a technology that allows web developers to access the native GUI". See the SashXB for Linux page for more information.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
August 24, 2000
POSIX threads explained, Part 2 (IBM). In Part 2 of this series, Daniel Robbins explains the use of mutexes to deal with the locking of Posix threads. If you missed it, Part 1 of the article gives a general overview of Posix threads and how to get started coding them.
AI::NeuralNet::Mesh, version 0.20. Josiah Bryan has announced the first public release of AI::NeuralNet::Mesh. This is an optimized accurate neural network Mesh for Perl.
This week's Python-URL. Here is Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for August 21. As always, check it out for the latest in Python development news.
PyStream - a C++ stream emulation. Andreas Jung has written PyStream, a new Python module that emulates C++ streams in Python.
TMML - Tcl manual markup language. Joe English has announced TMML, a tool for converting TCL documentation to XML and has proposed its use for conversion of the TCL documentation.
Xlib TCL tutorial. George Peter Staplin announced the availability of a tutorial on using Xlib to draw into a Tcl/Tk window.
Software Development Tools
Software Carpentry reopens testing tool competition. The Software Carpentry Project, which had removed the testing tool objective from its software design competition after the first round, has now reinstated the testing category with a new set of objectives. See the Unit and Regression Testing page for the new rules and requirements. May the best new testing system win.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
IBM Java Zone
Tcl Developer Xchange