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News and EditorialsRevive an Old Project. The beginning of the new year provides a great excuse to step back and look over an old project, to evaluate the project's status and consider its future directions.
Like rooms full of physical stuff, over time, software projects have a tendency to end up with directories full of musty, seldom-used files. Now is a good time to pick up an old project, go in and stir things up, clean out the cobwebs and organize the old piles -- or would that be files?
Spend some time on that old project, go over all of the component pieces, clean out the old cruft, and add some new comments to the code that is no longer obvious. Simplify the code, and put some life back into the project. Remove parts that are no longer in use; consider removing support for DOS and VMS should it exist. Clean up the Makefiles. Consider adding the GUI that you've always wanted the program to have.
With a little bit of meta-work, you should be able to turn your dusty old program into a shiny new one.
Finally, don't forget to make the code available to the Open Source community.
Happy New Year!
Galeon 0.8.3. Galeon version 0.8.3 is available. This version has several critical bug fixes, and a number of new features.
SEUL/edu Linux in Education Report #36. The SEUL/edu group has released issue #36 of the Linux in Education report. Topics include more on tools for mathematical graphing, work on Debian-jr, and an introduction to Gunnar Stefansson's tutor-web project which is: "A unified system to replace my PowerPoint presentations, class handouts in Word or TeX, student quizzes, homework and mid-terms and a few other things."
Embedded Linux Newsletter for Dec 28, 2000. This week's Embedded Linux Newsletter is out, topics include hacking the Compaq iPAQ, an article on providing real-time services by Lineo's CTO Tim Bird, and more.
2001 Embedded Linux Market Survey. LinuxDevices.com has a survey for the 2001 Embedded Linux Market. "The survey asks developers of Linux-based embedded systems and intelligent devices to anonymously provide information about their applications, their embedded Linux OS requirements and preferences, and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of using Linux in embedded applications."
OpenNMS Update Volume 2 Issue 1 (January 2nd, 2001). The latest issue of OpenNMS Update has been published. Along with updates on coding projects, topics include information on the CVS check-in procedures and an update to the Wish List.
On the Desktop
KDE Tutorials For Windows Converts?(KDE.News). KDE.News has published a discussion about the need for KDE Tutorials for Windows Converts. This sounds like a good thing in general, we look forward to some friendly competition in this area from the Gnome camp.
Do Interoperability Technologies Help or Hurt KDE Development?. In this article at Kuro5hin.org the author considers the implications of some recent developments -- namely, XParts and QGtkWidget.
10 questions with Miguel de Icaza (Linux Orbit). Linux Orbit interviews Helix Code's Miguel de Icaza. de Icaza: "To me, Helix was a continuation of the GNOME project. There are some tasks in the GNOME project that are not fun to do (like packaging of software, software updates, delivering the latest technologies) that are not easy to do with volunteers (Debian is a project that actually has managed to do this very well, but when we tried to do this within the GNOME project, we never managed to get this off the ground). Other large scale projects can be developed faster, and give our platform an advantage over proprietary software if they are done within the framework of a commercial company. "
PDAMD: Why PDA? (LinuxMedNews). Linux Med News is predicting that the emerging Linux-based PDAs will become available in 2001 and will fill a void for PDA-based Open Source medical software.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
January 4, 2001
Log4j delivers control over logging (IBM developerWorks). IBM's developerWorks takes a look at Log4j, in an article by Ceki Gulcu. "Log4j, an open source project, allows developers to control which log statements are output with arbitrary granularity. It's fully configurable at runtime by using external configuration files. Best of all, log4j has a gentle learning curve."
The Status Of The Perl Journal (Slashdot). Earthweb's recent sale of many of its properties to Internet.com, and its recent decision to stop the presses on The Perl Journal issue #20, have caused a lot of rumors and concerns. In truth, it appears we won't know the final outcome for a while. For the best information currently available, check Jon Orwent's status update, posted to Slashdot. "Since the future of the magazine is in doubt, I can't in good conscience greenlight proposals; I will not encourage an author to spend weeks writing an article when I know that it might never be printed. So I've told people who've asked what I know about the current situation: while EarthWeb has sold many of its properties to internet.com so that it can focus on "career services", it has not sold TPJ. However, EarthWeb has also made it clear that they don't want to publish TPJ any more".
Perl w3.pm module for cgi security. Tommy Butler has posted an announcement concerning his new Perl module, w3.pm, that aims to improve the security of Perl cgi-bin scripts by solving recurring parameter-passing problems. If you can contribute to this effort, please join in.
Apache Module Report (Security Space). Security Space has published a list of the modules used by Apache web servers and their frequency of use. It looks like PHP is on top with around 36% of the servers using it.
PHP Weekly Summaries for December, 2000. All four of the December, 2000 PHP Weekly Summaries have come out in one group. Check them out for the latest in the world of PHP, including the release of PHP 4.0.4.
Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! for January 3rd, 2001. This week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! includes links to a number of articles from Alex Martelli that cover MediaPlayer, htmllib, classes and object oriented programming and gmpy 0.8. Other linked topics include practical HTML/SGML parsing in Python, regular expressions, an xreadlines implementation, the announcement of the 9th International Python Conference and sniffing HTTP traffic.
Python-dev summary, December 16-31, 2000. Here's the last Python-dev summary for the year 2000. The Python 2.1 release plans are discussed, as are module autoconfiguration and the need for help in bringing the Python FAQ up to date.
Jython 2.0 beta 1 released. Version 2.0 beta1 of Jython, the implementation of Python in Java, has been released. Some new installation features have been added and a few bugs have been fixed.
Programming in Ruby (Dr. Dobbs). Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt introduce the object-oriented scripting language Ruby. "Take the pure object orientation of Smalltalk, but remove the quirky syntax and reliance on a workspace. Add in the convenience and power of Perl, but without all the special cases and magic conversions. Wrap it up in a clean syntax based in part on Eiffel, and a a few concepts from Scheme, CLU, Sather, and Common Lisp. You end up with Ruby."
Making Smalltalk (Linux Gazette). Linux Gazette has published an introductory article on Smalltalk by Jason Steffler. "The target audience for this series are people new to OO or new to programming altogether. The intent is to not only introduce OO programming, but to also spread the fun of Smalltalking."
Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! for January 2nd, 2001. The weekly Tcl-URL! summary is now available. This week topics included using oval buttons, hints at combining Tcl with Qt, using Tcl with proprietary databases, and a tutorial on Tk graphing.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC)
Gnu Compiler for the Java Language (GCJ)
IBM Java Zone
Free the X3J Thirteen (Lisp)
Dr. Dobbs' Perl
PHP Weekly Summary
Tcl Developer Xchange