Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Development page.
Mozilla 0.7 milestone released. According to the Mozilla Web site, the packages for the latest milestone release, Mozilla 0.7, are now available. The most important update here is the new PSM (Personal Security Manager), which is now available on Linux, Windows and the Mac. Additionally, files can now be drag-n-dropped as mail attachments and news reader problems with large newsgroup hierarchies has been fixed. (Thanks to Klaus Krtschil)
Compaq releases open source database benchmark, OSDB. Compaq has open sourced a database benchmark and placed the project under their Sourceforge hierarchy of open sourced projects.
NASA switches from Oracle to MySQL (Federal Computer Week). A group at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has made the switch from Oracle to MySQL on their Acquisition Internet Service. "'We noticed an increase in [speed of] performance since the change and have not experienced any problems with the product', Clark said. 'We kept waiting for the other shoe to fall from the time we started investigating mySQL, but it never did.'"
Embedded Linux Newsletter for Jan. 4, 2001 (LinuxDevices). The latest edition of the Embedded Linux Newsletter has been published. Featured stories this week include the Philips USB controller, updates on TinyLogin for handling login and authentication on embedded systems, and Lineo's upgrade to its BusyBox utilities. An embedded Linux market survey is also included.
Hissim History Generator (WorldForge). WorldForge documents the release of Hissim 2.2, a graphical population history simulator for use in game software.
Wine Weekly News for January 8, 2001. The January 8, 2001 edition of the Wine Weekly News is out. News includes speed optimizations to the wineserver communications protocol, multimedia architectural changes, work on the DirectSound and DIB sections, and more.
Mailman 2.0.1 released. Version 2.0.1 of Mailman, the GNU Mailing List manager, is now available. "Mailman is software to help manage electronic mail discussion lists, much like Majordomo or Smartmail. Mailman gives each mailing list a unique web page and allows users to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their account options over the web. Even the list manager can administer his or her list entirely via the web." Mailman is written in Python.
OpenNMS Update Volume 2 Issue 2 (January 9, 2001). The latest OpenNMS Update is out. Information on where the OpenNMS group will be over the next month is included, along with the development of a software "road map" and other project status.
LinuxOrbit reviews AbiWord. AbiWord, the word processing program by AbiSource is reviewed by Linux Orbit. "This article was written entirely in AbiWord, and the experience was overall quite pleasant. It has a familiar interface that allows a crossover user to just fire it up and get right to work, without the unpleasantness of learning a new scheme. Any user familiar with Word, WordPad, KWord or any other word processor for that matter, should not have to climb too steep a learning curve when using AbiWord for the first time."
LaTeX: A diamond in the rough (ZDNet). In a Linux Opinion column this week, Evan Leibovitch explains the ever reliable and mature text formatting system called LaTeX (pronounced LAH-tek). "Like a C language program, LaTeX documents are created with your favorite text editor, looking a bit like raw HTML or WordPerfect documents in Reveal Codes mode. These files, when complete, are then run through a processor to create formatted output. The resulting "dvi" (device independent) binary file can be easily churned into PostScript, or PDF files, or X Window displays, or many other printer and typesetting machine formats."
OpenOffice Bonobo Integration. OpenOffice.org has posted a white paper on the integration of Bonobo with UNO and the OpenOffice API, with a future consideration of integration with Mozilla's XPCOM.
Eazel Newsletter, January 4th, 2001. Eazel has posted the January 2001 issue of their newsletter. Topics in this issue include an update on the Eazel Installer, Sun's adoption of Nautilus for Solaris, the second release of the Eazel Software Catalog, and Dell's interest in all things Eazel.
Gimp 1.2.0 RPMs available. If you've been itching to easily try out the latest Gimp, the source and executable RPMs for Gimp 1.2.0 have been made available. The RPMs were built on a RedHat 6.2 machine.
A Tutorial for Perl Gimp Users Updated for Gimp 1.2. Dov Grobgeld has sent us a pointer to the latest version of the Perl for Gimp tutorial. Good stuff for those of you who are writing Gimp scripts.
On the Desktop
Which GUI To Go With? (ZDNet). Lou Grinzo walks new users through the Linux desktop from X to Eazel in this story from ComputerShopper. "The GUI on a typical Linux system begins with software known generically as X11. This is usually XFree86, a free program that lets applications display information in graphical mode. You can run it by itself, but bare-bones X11 is extremely primitive. Instead, you should run a window manager on top of X11 that offers a slicker appearance with more convenience features"
From the Desktop: S Is For Sawfish and Shedding (Linux Planet). Brian Proffitt reviews Sawfish, the favored window manager for the GNOME desktop. "The level of control within the Sawfish Configurator is truly incredible. You can detail nearly every aspect about the look of your desktop--everything from theme selection to what the handle on the bottom right corner of your windows looks like."
KDE 2.1 Release Schedule (KDE dot News). KDE dot News has posted a notice from David Faure, the KDE release coordinator, announcing the KDE 2.1 release schedule. The beta version should come out on January 29, 2001, and the official release is scheduled for release on February 12, 2001.
Linux Accessibility Conference and KDE (KDE Dot News). There will be a KDE working group session at the Linux Accessibility Conference to be held in March in Los Angeles.
CUPS V1.1.5 updated source code available. An updated version of the CUPS V1.1.5 source code has been made available. This version includes some minor bug fixes and optimizations.
Linux in Science Report #6. After a long absence, the Linux in Science Report has returned. This issue has an update to Chemsuite, Grace (a WYSIWYG graphing program), FREEGIS, and SciGraphica.
Midgard 2.0 development roadmap. Ami Ganguli has sent us the Midgard 2.0 Roadmap Mark II. The Midgard 2.0 system is tentatively scheduled for release in December of 2001.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
January 11, 2001
Techniques for adding trace statements to your Java application (IBM developerWorks). Andrei Malacinski discusses Java debugging techniques in an IBM developerWorks article. "In today's world of tight schedules and the constant demand for more function, developers often don't have the time, or don't take the time, to think about a debugging (or tracing) strategy. There are always more important things to code than debug statements. This article provides developers that strategy for free -- Java source code and all -- relieving them of the need to design and implement one of their own tracing strategies and allowing them to concentrate on their application's main logic. Two techniques are presented in this article, one for development-time tracing and one for run-time tracing."
Weblog 1.6 (webreference.com). Version 1.6 of Weblog has been released. "Based on your feedback, Weblog 1.6 includes several bug fixes, simplified installation procedures, better RSS 1.0 support, and better documentation. This tutorial walks through the new installation procedures and supersedes the previous Weblog tutorial."
"Weblog is a simple browser-based interface for managing one or more RSS channels. It's also capable of generating HTML, Palm and WML files from the RSS file. Templates are included for HTML, Palm, and WML output so you can customize the output for your channels."
Spork, Skud's Perl training Fork. A four day Perl Training class written by Skud, aka Kirrily Robert, is available from Sourceforge.
PHP Weekly Summary for January 9, 2001. Issues 18 and 19 of the PHP Weekly Summary are available. Topics include a bug in the array function, standard function naming schemes, Kerberos 5, OpenSSL extensions, and Korean PHP documentation. A new release candidate, PHP 4.0.4pl1 RC1 is also available.
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Python version(Andamooka). Allen B. Downey, Jeffrey Elkner and Moshe Zadka have written an online book on learning Python. The book is aimed at beginner level programmers.
Tkinter 3000. The Tkinter 3000 project has released a sneak preview of the Widget Construction Kit (WCK) for Python. "The Tkinter 3000 project attempts to create a better (faster, smaller) Tk interface, and provide ways to extend the Tkinter library with new widgets, geometry managers, and more. The new design is mostly compatible with Tkinter, as shipped with Python 1.5.2."
The Snack Sound Toolkit v2.0.5 (deja.com). A new release of the Snack Sound Toolkit for Python is available. "Snack adds commands to play, record, and process sound and supports in-memory sound objects, file based audio, and streaming audio. It handles fileformats such as WAV, MP3, AU, AIFF, and NIST/Sphere."
Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! - weekly Tcl news and links (Jan 8). Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! for January 8th has been released. This week's edition includes links to articles on GPLed network administration, how to build Tcl/Tk on Cygwin, and how to change all of the fonts in an application at one time.
Tcl Wrapping Utilities. Dennis LaBelle has released freeWrap 5.0 b1, a program that converts Tcl/Tk scripts into a single binary file, and freeDelivery 2.0, a program that uses freeWrap to assemble files for installation on another computer.
Software Development Tools
SGI releases dmSDK as open source (Yahoo). According to a press release from SGI, the source for SGI's dmSDK, the Digital Media Software Development Kit, has been released mostly as open source with packages falling under the GPL or LGPL license. Some of the sample programs are released under the SGI open source license. This is version 2.0 of the kit and it is available for both Linux and SGI IRIX. dmSDK is comprised of various SGI predecessor API's including the Video Library (VL), the Audio Library (AL), Digital Media Image Converter (DMIC), Digital Media Audio Converter (DMAC), and the Compression Library (CL).
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