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News and EditorialsLast week, Walter Bright's D Programming Language was discussed at length on Slashdot. D is intended to be a successor to C and C++, and has been designed with compiler implementation in mind.
The language overview states that D is not an interpreted or scripting language, it is a compiled language that is designed to be higher level than C++. The language will not require a runtime virtual machine, as does Java and Smalltalk. D is intended to keep much of the C/C++ language look and feel, making it easy to transition to from those languages.
From C/C++, D will keep the compile/link/debug development model, will emphasize exception handling, and will use templates, although the template design will be newly designed. The documentation already contains text about Programming in D for C Programmers and Programming in D for C++ Programmers, making the learning process fairly straightforward.
While keeping many C/C++ features, D will eliminate the preprocessor, and thus include files. Also gone will be multiple inheritance, operator overloading, arbitrary Bit Fields, and support for 16 bit CPUs. Most of this is to simplify the language and eliminate infrequently used features.
One interesting feature of D is the ability to include optional built-in unit test code (go to the bottom): "Unit tests are a series of test cases applied to a class to determine if it is working properly. Ideally, unit tests should be run every time a program is compiled. The best way to make sure that unit tests do get run, and that they are maintained along with the class code is to put the test code right in with the class implementation code."
Another interesting, but slightly quirky feature is that the D compiler allows D language code to be embedded into html files. This allows functional code to be displayed in a browser with special highlighting for better readability, and the same file can be compiled. This feature could allow for some interesting documentation.
The D Programming Language Reference Document provides the complete language documentation as it exists, today. In all, it looks like D could become an important language if it can manage to get beyond the design phase into working code, and can attract a large enough following.
Ecasound 2.0.2 released. A new version of Ecasound is available. This version features bug fixes, minor improvements, and compatibility with the Gcc 3.0 compiler.
Also on the same site, Brad Bowman has written a Perl module that implements the Ecasound Control Interface.
OpenOrb Enterprise Suite 1.2. The ExoLab Group has announced OpenORB Enterprise Suite 1.2, a CORBA 2.4 ORB written in Java. The OpenOrb home page has all of the details. OpenOrb has been released under a BSD license, a commercial OEM/ISV license is also available. (Thanks to Christof Meerwald)
PostgreSQL v7.1.3 released. A new version of the PostgreSQL database has been announced.
FreeGIS web portal updated. The FreeGIS web portal has been updated and now provides a search engine for finding tools from their database of over 125 applications relating to Geographic Information Systems.
Embedded Linux tops developers' 2002 wishlist (LinuxDevices). An Evans study on embedded OS usages shows Linux currently sits 4th behind home-grown solutions, VxWorks, and MS-DOS. "One of the most striking results of the survey is the indication of a dramatic shift away from "home grown" OSes [in 2002], which have traditionally accounted for between half and two-thirds of all embedded systems' OSes. The roll-your-own category practically vanishes in a single year, with much of the slack taken up by Embedded Linux..."
Embedded Linux Newsletter. This week's Embedded Linux Newsletter includes a review of John Lombardo's "Embedded Linux", a study of how Linux is being used in industrial controls, and a look at IBM's TechMobile, a Ford Explorer that runs Linux.
ELC announces new board of directors. The Embedded Linux Consortium has announced its new board of directors. "Five incumbents were re-elected and two new candidates gained board seats. Re-elected are Dr. Inder Singh (chairman and CEO, LynuxWorks); Michael Tiemann (chief technology officer, Red Hat); James Ready (CEO, MontaVista Software); Dan Bandera (business line manager, IBM Pervasive Computing); and Greg Wright (an independent Linux community member). The two new board members are Dr. Kiwon Lee (head of corporate technology operations and executive vice president, Samsung Electronics); and Victor Yodaiken (CEO, FSMLabs). Yodaiken's election fills a vacant position and brings the board to full strength."
Multi-vendor open source set-top box project launches (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices reports on Linux4.TV, another project to put Linux into a set top box. "An open source set-top box design based on National's Geode system-on-chip processor is said to be available for immediate download. Downloadable software components include Century's WebMedia set-top box front-end application, which provides a video middleware API, and National's enhanced Video for Linux 2 (V4L2) API, which provides features such as alpha blending, VIP, overlay, and picture-in-picture (PIP) support."
Wine Weekly News for August 16, 2001. The August 16, 2001 edition of the Wine Weekly News is out. This edition covers 16 bit printer drivers, navigating through Wine, debugging techniques for Winelib applications, and lots more.
Updated CUPS Source Distribution. A new source distribution of the CUPS printing system, version 1.1.10, has been released. The release notes document the changes, which include job priority tweaking, support for Dymo label printers and lots of bug fixes. A next-day bug fix release was also released, version 1.1.10-1 fixes a few minor filter and installation bugs.
Omni Printer Driver version 0.40 released. Version 0.40 of the Omni printer driver is now available for download. This release includes drivers for 21 HP LaserJet printers, support for hardware scaling printers, updated Epson Stylus support, and lots of bug fixes.
Consolidating Servers Under Linux (O'Reilly). David H M Spector discusses the consolidation of multiple server functions under a single Linux system. "'Server consolidation' is a term that is often used in IT jargon to mean 'we're getting rid of platform X' where 'X' is SPARC, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, or some other unlucky victim of a corporate popularity contest. These days, you should be thinking about a different kind of server consolidation -- how to reduce the number of servers that your company has to support and how to bring more services together on the servers that remain."
Zope News for August 17, 2001. The August 17, 2001 edition of the Zope News is out. This issue features a new editor, Chris McDonough, and a name change from the Zope Weekly News to just Zope News. This is slightly confusing due to the fact that zope.org also has another Zope News site, hopefully all of that will be straightened out in time. Topics from this new edition include the release of Zope 2.4.0, some security issues, and more.
Zope 2.4.1 beta 1 released. A new version of Zope, version 2.4.1 beta 1 has been released. This version features a number of bug fixes.
Sun releases OpenOffice Development Kit. Sun Microsystems has released ODK, the OpenOffice.org Development Kit. "The ODK is a set of tools, libraries, jar files, header files and idl files which are necessary to develop components for the OpenOffice.org using the OpenOffice API and the OpenOffice.org component technology UNO (Universal Network Objects)." A Linux/Intel version of the kit is available. The licensing information for OpenOffice.org states that it is released under a dual LGPL and SISSL license, SISSL is the Sun Industry Standards Source License.
Quick Reference For Choosing a Free Software License (zooko.com). Bryce Wilcox-O'Hearn has published a Quick Reference Guide for choosing free software licenses. If you are uncecided about which license to use for an open-source project, this would be a good place to start.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
August 23, 2001
GCC 3.0.1 Released. Version 3.0.1 of GCC has been released. Changes with this release include numerous bug fixes, and a port to the S/390 architecture. (Thanks to Roberto Bagnara)
Caml Weekly News for August 21, 2001. The August 21, 2001 edition of the Caml Weekly News has been delivered. Topics this week include a rewrite of David Fox's FFI C interface generator, and FORT 0.3, the Framework for Ocaml Regression Testing.
Study: Java to overtake C/C++ in 2002 (ZDNet). According to a study by the Evans Data Corp, Java developers will outnumber C/C++ developers by early 2002. "The research also shows that Java usage has been rising at the expense of Visual Basic and C/C++." The study also praises Linux as a stable and popular platform for software development.
Embedded Java (O'Reilly). Vincent Perrier examines some embedded Java issues in an O'Reilly article. "Java's strong appeal for embedded applications is sometimes offset by concerns about its speed and its memory requirements. However, there are techniques that you can use to boost Java performance and reduce memory needs, and of course the Java virtual machine you choose affects Java performance, too. You can make better-informed decisions about using Java by understanding the factors that affect its performance and selecting meaningful benchmarks for embedded applications."
Jlouiss java tracer updated. Albrecht Kleine has announced the availability of a new version of his jLouiss Java tracer. JLouiss is licensed under a GPL license.
OpenMCL 0.6 released. Version 0.6 of the OpenMCL lisp compiler has been released. This version adds a new foreign type system, different command line argument processing, a new Linux system call mechanism, and more.
This Week on Perl 6 (O'Reilly). The August 12-18, 2001 edition of the Perl 6 Porters digest is out with coverage of all of the latest Perl 6 development activity.
Gluing C++ And Perl Together. John Keiser has put together a tutorial on binding Perl XS, the Perl native glue, and C++. The tutorial fills in areas that the existing documentation has failed to cover.
Hypercard and Python (O'Reilly). Stephen Figgins takes a look back at the classic Macintosh application Hypercard, and a new embryonic project known as PythonCard. The PythonCard project aims to be a Python based software construction kit that allows GUI development with minimal coding. PythonCard is being released under a Python 2.1 license.
Daily Python-URL. The latest items in the Daily Python-URL include a discussion on Extended HTTP functionality and WebDAV, MySQL performance tuning, the Java Python Extension (JPE), scientific calculations with SciPy, and more.
SCons design document. Based on a design from last year's Software Carpentry Contest, the Python based SCons software construction tool is under design, with an alpha release due out in several months. A design document for SCons has been announced and is open for review.
PyDO 1.0 Object Relational Database Tool. A new version of the the PyDO Object Relational Database tool has been announced. This release works with Python 2.2a1 and features an improved PostgreSQL driver.
The latest from the Ruby Garden. The Ruby Garden reports an increasing number of posts to the Ruby-talk mailing list, indicating that the language is catching on. Also, string comparison techniques in Ruby are discussed.
The latest Smalltalk Chronicles. After a bit of a hiatus, the Smalltalk Chronicles has returned with a fancy new design. This issue includes an interview with Dan Ingalls on the future of Squeak, cranking on real-time physics problems with ElastoLab, The Moose, a Smalltalk environment for re-engineering code, and refactoring patterns.
XML for Data: Four tips for smart architecture (IBM developerWorks). Kevin Williams looks at common XML design mistakes and illustrates how to deal with them in an IBM developerWorks article. For the impatient, here are the tips:
glibc maintainer lashes out at RMS. The release notes for glibc 2.2.4 have been posted, and include some fairly strong anti-Stallman sentiments.
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