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News and EditorialsLarry Wall's Apocalypse 3 for Perl 6 Larry Wall recently published Apocalypse 3, with a long list of changes to the Perl 6 operators.
To me, one of the most agonizing aspects of language design is coming up with a useful system of operators. To other language designers, this may seem like a silly thing to agonize over. After all, you can view all operators as mere syntactic sugar -- operators are just funny looking function calls. Some languages make a feature of leveling all function calls into one syntax. As a result, the so-called functional languages tend to wear out your parenthesis keys, while OO languages tend to wear out your dot key.
In all, sixteen new RFCs covering a wide variety of changes were included in this Apocalypse.
Meanwhile, Damian Conway followed up on Larry's post with Exegesis 3, a lengthy explanation Apocalypse 3.
As with all the Apocalypses, only the new and different are presented -- just remember that the vast majority of operator-related syntax and semantics will stay precisely as they are in Perl 5.
If you don't feel like wading through the many pages of detailed information, Damian has given a quick summary of the changes at the end of Exegesis 3.
Editing Sound Under Linux (O'Reilly). Linux audio guru Dave Philips has written an article about the Snd audio editor on the O'Reilly network. "Sound workers migrating from Windows or the Mac will look for tools similar to what they have enjoyed using on their previous platforms, and one of their most frequently asked questions is 'What Linux audio editor will most completely take the place of Cool Edit?'"
Pointrel Data Repository System. A new version of the Pointrel Data Repository System has been announced. "The Pointrel Data Repository System is a variant of an Entity-Relationship model database. The Pointrel system provides a way to easily handle loosely structured data stored on disk, like for INI files, version control systems, bug tracking systems, or simple AI type applications."
Embedded Linux Newsletter for Oct. 4, 2001. This week's Embedded Linux Newsletter has been published. News includes Espial's DeviceTop offering, OSDL benchmarking tool, and Transmeta's move into the embedded market.
An overview of Linux for embedded developers (LinuxDevices). Greg Haerr, CEO of Century Software and founder of the Microwindows and ViewML projects, presents a whitepaper introduction to embedded Linux. "The X Window System is overkill, especially when running a dedicated graphics application. For this reason, the Microwindows Project was created. Microwindows is an open source project aimed at producing desktop-quality graphics functionality for small devices. The architecture allows for ease in adding different display, mouse, touchscreen and keyboard devices, as explained below. Starting with Linux version 2.2, the kernel contains code to allow user applications to access graphical display memory as a framebuffer, which ends up being a memory-mapped region in a user process space that, when written to, controls the display appearance."
Wine Snapshot for October 4, 2001. A new version of Wine was released on October 4, 2001. Changes include improved typelib support, the beginnings of shared window handles, new code in the quartz dll, and lots of bug fixes.
Omni 0.5.0 released. Version 0.5.0 of the Omni printer driver package has been released. This version adds the ability to query job property keys from the Omni driver, and it now supports more media types. New devices supported include numerous printers from Epson and OkiData.
Paper Tray Selection for PCL Laser Printers. The Linux Printing Site has a discussion on using Foomatic to select printer input trays. "One big problem of free operating systems was that on most non-PostScript laser printers one could not select from which input tray the paper to be printed on should be taken. Most of these printers are PCL printers and nearly all GhostScript drivers for PCL printers lack an option to select the input tray. Now I (Till) have solved this problem with the help of Foomatic."
PAM Modules (O'Reilly). Jennifer Vesperman covers a wide variety of PAM modules in an O'Reilly article. "PAM was designed for authentication, and it remains the most common function of PAM modules. Programmers being programmers, there are now PAM modules to do much more than authentication. A variety of security tasks can be done through modules, and there are utilities for session management."
Zope Members News. The latest Zope News from Zope.org members includes an announcement for a new French language Zope site, a discussion on ZOQL, the Zope Object Query Language, an initial release of XPath Methods, and more.
Web services networks (IBM developerWorks). Kelly Truelove gives an overview of of web services networks on IBM's developerWorks. "In the physical world, enterprises use many intermediaries in the course of conducting business with one another. For example, the Federal Express package delivery network greatly simplifies the transport of goods and communications between organizations that, in lieu of substitutes, would have to establish custom point-to-point delivery systems. A Web services network performs analogous intermediary duties by facilitating communications between Web services operated by different enterprises. As in the physical case, the intermediary adds tremendous value by solving a number of hard problems that businesses would otherwise be left on their own to address."
Redfoot 1.0 released (xmlhack.com). Version 1.0 of the Redfoot RDF Application Framework has been released. "It can be used to develop personal or workgroup information environments, community web sites or any kind of web application that involves managing the relationships between different information objects in a consistent yet extensible manner." Redfoot is licensed with a BSD style license. If the term is new to you, an RDF is a Resource Description Framework that uses XML for integrating catalogs, directories, news, and other data across the net.
Quixote 0.4.1. Several new versions of the Quixote Python based Web Applications Framework have been released recently. Version 0.4.0 featured lots of new features as well as a reorganization of the software. Version 0.4.1 just came out and fixes a few new bugs.
Gnumeric 0.71. Gnumeric 0.71 has been released. This version is considered to be a major release; among other things, graphs are now a standard feature. Gnumeric now goes into feature freeze in preparation for a stable release.
Twisted, an event-based framework for internet applications. A new release of Twisted, an event-based framework for Internet applications, has been announced. This version adds support for Jython, a new DNS system, better SSL support, security enhancements, and more.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
October 11, 2001
The latest from the Caml Hump. The Caml Hump features an article entitled "Practical hints for using OCaml", as well as discussions on OCamldoc, and OCamlCVS.
JSci: An open-source alternative for Java 2D graphing (IBM developerWorks). John Carr examines the graphics capabilities of JSci, a.k.a. Java Objects for Science, on IBM's developerWorks.
Stateful Session EJBs: Beasts of Burden (O'Reilly). Tyler Jewell talks about the use and misuse of Stateful Session EJBs in an O'Reilly OnJava article. "SFSBs have a very limited use in development and should rarely be seen. But somehow, these infiltrating creatures have wormed their way into designs where they do not belong. This article discusses the true purpose of SFSBs, where they belong in a J2EE design, and the situations where they should not be used."
LISA 1.1 released. Version 1.1 of LISA, (Lisp-based Intelligent Software Agents) has been released. "The most significant new feature in this release is support for dynamic rule definition; that is, it is now possible to create new rules from the RHS of existing rules at runtime."
Perl 5 Porters for October 10, 2001. The October 10, 2001 edition of Perl 5 Porters includes a call for known PerlIO bugs, discussion of a problem with attributes, dealing with side effects of multiple FETCH operations, and more.
Asymmetric Cryptography in Perl (Perl.com). Vipul Ved Prakash and Benjamin Trott discuss the use of Perl for asymmetric cryptography on perl.com. "In the early days of public networks, Witfield Diffie & Martin Hellman, then researchers at Stanford's mathematics department, were battling against this fundamental problem - how to enable two complete strangers to bootstrap secure communications over an insecure network. Their work culminated in a seminal paper, titled ``New Directions In Cryptography,'' that laid down the foundations of what has come to be known as asymmetric cryptography."
The latest Python-URL. Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for October 9, 2001 is out, with the latest from the Python development community. Covered topics include HTML serving options, Zope vs. PHP, and the upcoming 2.2 release.
Last week's Python-URL. In case that wasn't enough Python news, the Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for October 4 also came out after the previous LWN was published. Topics include interfaces and signature oriented polymorphism, regular expressions, setattr differences between Python 2.2 and earlier versions, and lots more.
Developing Games with Python (O'Reilly). Stephen Figgins looks at SDL, PyGame and PyUI in the context of Python based gaming software on O'Reilly's OnLamp site.
Pyro 2.1 available. A new version of Pyro, PYthon Remote Objects, is available. "With this, it closely resembles Java's Remote Method Invocation (RMI). It has less similarity to CORBA - which is a system- and language independent Distributed Object Technology and has much more to offer than Pyro or RMI. But Pyro is small, simple and free!" Pyro features an LGPL license.
Roundup Issue Tracking System. A preview release of the Roundup Issue Tracking System has been announced. "The system will facilitate communication among the participants by managing discussions and notifying interested parties when issues are edited. One of the major design goals for Roundup that it be simple to get going."
Final Draft of Online Python Book. Boudewijn Rempt has announced the final draft of his book GUI Programming with Python and Qt. An online version of the book is available.
The latest from the Ruby Garden. This week the Ruby Garden has discussions on Socket#gethostbyname, Hash#keys, subclassing array, chaining relational operators, Regexp#options #lang, and more.
The Tcl-URL for October 10, 2001. Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL for October 10, 2001 is out; covered topics include the changes in Tcl Wiki, embedded Tcl, object-oriented Tcl extensions, and more.
The Tcl-URL for October 6, 2001. Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL for October 6, 2001 is also available. Topics include a generic Tcl interface for various SQL databases, Tk::MDI, a Multiple Document Interface, and lots more.
SMILGen 0.9.9 released. Version 0.9.9 of SMILGen, a Python based XML authoring tool is available. "SMILGen is a SMIL (and XML) authoring tool designed to ease the process of XML content creation. SMILGen understands XML syntax and handles the nesting and formatting XML."
Integrated Development Environments
The eclipse project as a universal tool platform. The eclipse project is being developed at IBM. Eclipse aims to be a common component that is to be used for developing a wide variety of IDEs. "The Eclipse platform itself is a sort of universal tool platform - it is an IDE for anything and nothing in particular. It can deal with any type of resource (Java files, C files, Word files, HTML files, JSP files, etc) in a generic manner but doesn't know how to do anything that is specific to a particular file type. The Eclipse platform, by itself, doesn't provide a great deal of end-user functionality - it is what it enables that is interesting. The real value comes from tool plug-ins for eclipse that 'teach' the platform how to work with these different kinds of resources. This pluggable architecture allows a more seamless experience for the end user when moving between different tools than ever before possible."
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