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News and EditorialsLinux Cluster Systems The Parallel Research Group of the Department of Computer Engineering at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand has announced the release of SCE 1.0. SCE is the Scalable Computing Environment and features the following tools for working with clusters:
A few weeks ago, Sandia National Laboratory announced the Cplant project, which appears to be going for the high end side of the spectrum with support for Alpha processors and Myrinet interconnects. Cplant was previously mentioned in the June 14, 2001 edition of the LWN development section.
Meanwhile, Compaq has also announced two open-source cluster projects of its own, the Cluster Infrastructure for Linux, and the Open Single System Image Clusters for Linux Project. Both projects appear to tie Linux and Unixware together.
The Compaq press release describes the Cluster Infrastructure (CI) for Linux: "The goal of this project is to develop a common infrastructure for many if not all forms of Linux clustering by extending the Cluster Membership and Inter-node Communication Subsystems from Compaq's NonStop Clusters for Unixware code base. This project also provides the basis for the Open SSI Clusters for Linux project."
The Open Single System Image (SSI) Clusters for Linux Project is described as follows: "The Open SSI project leverages both Compaq's NonStop Clusters for Unixware technology and other open source technology to provide a full, highly available SSI environment for Linux." Included are features such as cluster filesystems, process migration, load leveling, monitoring, and failover.
Of course, no discussion of Linux clusters would be complete without mentioning The Beowulf Project, which was started by Donald Becker and has been around since 1994.
Clustered computing has its roots in the big money scientific world with classic applications being simulation of real-world systems and other compute intensive scientific tasks. The movie industry has used clusters to perform rendering on large numbers of digital images. It seems like clusters are at a point where they are becoming accessible to the average computer nerd. After all, many of us have a few old machines lying around. It can't be too long before home users are able to crank out high resolution movies.
Operations that take many minutes to complete are obvious candidates for running on clusters. A 10 minute kernel build could be done in a few minutes if it were spread across a number of machines. That would be a real productivity enhancer for the kernel hacker. Re-sampling, volume normalization, and encoding of large audio files also seems like an area that could be helped along greatly by enlisting the capabilities of multiple machines. Availability of open source clustering tools is bound to open up the power of clustering to an ever wider audience.
An introduction to XQuery (IBM developerWorks). Howard Katz takes a look at XQuery, the W3C's proposed standard for an XML query language, in an IBM developerWorks article. " The W3C's XQuery specification has been in the works for a long time. The initial query language workshop that kicked things off was hosted by the W3C in Boston in December 1998. Invited representatives from industry, academia, and the research community at the workshop had an opportunity to present their views on the features and requirements they considered important in a query language for XML."
Linux in education report #47. The June 25, 2001 edition of the Seul/Edu Linux in education report is out. Topics include management of exchange student lists, instant printing of text books, encyclopedias under Linux, and talk of a Python based hypercard project.
Icarus Verilog 20010623 snapshot. A new snapshot of the Icarus Verilog electronics simulation language compiler has been released on the gEDA site. Numerous bugs have been fixed.
Embedded Linux Newsletter for June 21, 2001 (LinuxDevices). This past week saw the announcement of a new device for home entertainment from HP and Compaq's announcement of a contest for handheld applications. Summaries of both stories and more can be found in this week's Embedded Linux Newsletter.
Online embedded software development contest (Linux Devices). Linux Devices has mentioned an embedded software development contest that is going on this summer. "DevelopOnline has launched a software development contest which runs from today through August 29 of this year. 15 winners will each receive a $1,000.00 check and international recognition."
Wine Weekly News for June 21, 2001. The June 21, 2001 edition of the Wine Weekly News is out. Topics include revamping of the Wine application database, licensing issues, and mmap problems in glibc 2.1.3.
Samba security bug fix release. Versions 2.2.0a and 2.0.10 of Samba have been released to fix a security problem. Don't delay in plugging this hole.
Ganymede 1.03 released. Ganymede 1.03 is available for download. This release fixes a variety of bugs. "Ganymede provides support for concurrent, team-based management of network directory services."
Tools of the Trade (O'Reilly). Carl Constantine takes a look at several network monitoring tools in Tools of the Trade: Part 1 on the O'Reilly OnLamp site. In particular, nmap and Ethereal are explored. "To stop mischievous crackers -- more commonly called "black hats" in the security community -- from breaking in to your network, you must learn the same tactics that they know, and become familiar with the same tools that they use. It helps to think like they think. Why you ask? It's better to be the first person that finds a hole in your security before your network is compromised by others."
Sun Microsystems Contribution Code to WBEMsource. Sun announced today that it will give its Java implementation of the Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) standard to WBEMsource, an open source initiative. "Sun will be working with other leading companies and the broader development community to accelerate the development and deployment of standards-based systems management, with special focus on the Common Information Model (CIM)/WBEM standards managed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF)."
Zope 2.3.3 released. Zope 2.3.3 has been released. It's a "relatively minor bug-fix release" with no exciting new features, but sites running Zope should probably apply the upgrade.
Zope Weekly News for June 24, 2001. The June 24, 2001 edition of the Zope Weekly News is available. Topics include CMF 1.1, Zope 2.3, and Zope 2.4 beta.
Migrating from Apache 1.3 to Apache 2.0 (O'Reilly). Ryan Bloom summarizes the process of migrating from Apache 1.3 to 2.0 on the apache.org site in an O'Reilly OnLamp article. Upgrades take a large share of a systems administrator's time. This article is good reading for those who are planning on doing an upgrade.
Linux Development Network. A new site was pointed out to us, the Linux Development Network, lidn.org. This site contains references useful to developers of applications on the Linux platform ranging from GTK+ 2.0 documentation to open source licenses to autoconf references. (Thanks to Tim Hanson)
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
June 28, 2001
Gnome Basic 0.0.20 released. A new version of Gnome Basic (GB) has been released. Gnome Basic "is an embryonic attempt to provide VB compatible functionality for the GNOME project, particularly with respect to office (VBA) compatibility". Version 0.0.20 features lots of fixes to the grammar, lexer, and internals, and has updated Form and FormItem support.
Caml Weekly News for June 20 through 26, 2001. The latest edition of the Caml Weekly News is out. The news focuses on G'Caml, an experimental extension of the extensional polymorphism to O'Caml.
Using Ant and WebLogic EJBs (O'Reilly). Jesse E. Tilly takes a look at Ant in an O'Reilly onJava article. "Ant is an open-source tool for building Java-based applications and is a part of the Apache Jakarta project. Using XML as a build description language, Ant groups build results into targets with finite resolution states; a target fails or succeeds. We, the developer or build manager, define the build properties, the tasks needed to build targets, and the dependencies between those targets in the antfile."
The latest Lisp announcements. Several new Lisp projects have been announced: OpenMCL 0.4, the open-source Common Lisp implementation has been released. CL-XML 0.908, a collection of Common Lisp XML modules is available, and sql-odbc 0.9, which provides CMU Common Lisp support for ODBC, is also out.
SOAP-enhanced perldoc (use Perl). A new SOAP enhanced version of perldoc is available that allows users to grab documents from remote servers if they can't be found locally.
Using Perl to create reusable Web apps (IBM developerWorks). IBM's developerWorks looks at using Perl for web application development. "Lincoln Stein's CGI module is great for handling script parameters, but not for generating HTML elements (when HTML is embedded in the body of the script). It is interesting that the CGI module could be used in object-oriented style, as well as in function-oriented style, retaining the ability to be inherited. For instance, the CGI module could be inherited by CGI::Apache and CGI::Fast modules, which are CGI interfaces for Perl-Apache API and Open Market FastCGI Standard, respectively."
Cyber-stuffing remains threat to All-Star voting (ESPN). A well known Perl hacker named Chris Nandor used Perl to stuff the ballots at Major League Baseball All Star voting site. "Jon Orwant, chief technical officer for O'Reilly & Associates, a computer publishing company, is a friend of Nandor who alerted the Boston Globe to the All-Star vote's vulnerability to fraud. Orwant said smart hackers can ensure their multiple ballots don't stick out by setting up a voting program at the beginning of the voting period, avoiding the anomalies that can alert Big Ballot to voting fraud."
Using Inline in Perl (IBM developerWorks). Michael Roberts explores Inline in Perl in an IBM developerWorks article. "The new Inline module for Perl allows you to write code in other languages (like C, Python, Tcl, or Java) and toss it into Perl scripts with wild abandon. Unlike previous ways of interfacing C code with Perl, Inline is very easy to use, and very much in keeping with the Perl philosophy. One extremely useful application of Inline is to write quick wrapper code around a C-language library to use it from Perl, thus turning Perl into (as far as I'm concerned) the best testing platform on the planet."
Code Coverage Analysis in Perl (Dr. Dobb's). Brian d Foy looks at Perl's Devel::Coverage module in a Dr. Dobb's article about debugging Perl code.
PHP Weekly Summary for June 25, 2001. The June 25, 2001 edition of the PHP Weekly Summary is available. The issue looks at the new PHP 4.0.6 release, DBX and GD extension fixes, and various new features for PHP.
Python-URL! for June 26, 2001 (Dr. Dobb's). The June 26, 2001 edition of the Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! is out. This week's issue covers Guido's announcement of Python 2.0.1, web2ldap, Python clones of lex and yacc, an interface to Sybase, articles on ZODB, and lots more.
python-dev summary 2001-06-07 - 2001-06-21. This week's summary of the python-dev traffic is now available. Topics covered are decoding unicode, asian codecs, Simple Generators, and more.
Python 2.0.1 released. The Python 2.0.1 release brings GPL compatible licensing to Python 2.0 and also includes a few bug fixes.
Palm-Linux integration with Pyrite (IBM developerWorks). IBM DeveloperWorks authors Andrew Blais and David Mertz look at Pyrite. "The Pyrite Project has created several related tools to allow Python programmers to access and control PalmOS handheld devices. Pyrite communicates with and manages the data help on Palm devices, while Pyrite Publisher creates and distributes Doc format e-books to Palm devices. This article discusses our experience working with Pyrite tools, the underlying architecture, and tips for effectively using the Pyrite tools."
web2ldap 0.9.4 released. Version 0.9.4 of web2ldap has been released. Web2ldap is a Python based web bsed generic LDAP client and this release contains numerous bug fixes and new capabilities.
PyChecker 0.6.1 released. Version 0.6.1 of PyChecker, a Python code bug checker, has been released. This version has added several new checks and contains a few bug fixes.
Kawa, the Java-based Scheme system. Per Bothner has rewritten R. Alexander Milowski's Kawa, a Scheme environment written in Java. Kawa builds with GCJ, the Gnu Compiler for Java. (Thanks to Per Bothner.)
Tcl-URL! for June 26, 2001 (Dr. Dobb's). The June 26, 2001 edition of the Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! is out. Topics include discussions on productivity when working with Tcl, il8n, [catch], self testing Tcl scripts, and auto_import, as well as a number of new software announcements.
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