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The new GNOME 2.18 modules

The GNOME release team announced their decisions for modules to be included, removed and retracted in the upcoming version 2.18 of the GNOME desktop project. [The GNOME foot]

The release team had a meeting this week. Among other things, we talked about the proposed modules for GNOME 2.18. Here are the decisions that, in our opinion, reflect the consensus in the community.

Here is what to expect in the area of new modules:

GNOME Devtools: "Our end goal is to create an easy to use and powerful environment for developing applications. This means having an environment that the user can tailor to his or her needs, and that fits in with the developer's way of working. Our basic strategy is to build small, well defined components that will work together to form a complete environment."

GNOME Devhelp: a component of GNOME Devtools which includes full indexing of books in XML, the GtkHTML HTML viewer, the ability to search by functions, structures and macros, automatic completion, transparent HTTP support with GnomeVFS, command line search via Bonobo and including Emacs integration, a simple installer for books, print support, multiple zoom levels and vi support.

Seahorse: "Seahorse is a GNOME application for managing encryption keys. It also integrates with nautilus, gedit and other places for encryption, decryption and other operations. With seahorse you can Encrypt/decrypt/sign files and text, Manage your keys and keyring, Synchronize your keys and your keyring with keyservers, Sign keys and publish, Cache your passphrase so you don't have to keep typing it, Backup your keys and keyring, Add an image in any GDK supported format as a OpenGPG photo ID Create SSH keys, configure them, cache them."

Nm-applet, which is the visible component of NetworkManager: "Networking on Linux right now is painful for the mobile desktop user, especially in comparison to other operating systems. A laptop user should never need to use the command line or configuration files to manage their network; it should "Just Work" as automatically as possible and intrude as little as possible into the user's workflow. NetworkManager attempts to make networking invisible. When moving into areas you've been before, NetworkManager automatically connects to the last network the user chose to connect to. Likewise, when back at the desk, NetworkManager will switch to the faster, more reliable wired network connection."

Glade-3: "Glade is a RAD tool to enable quick & easy development of user interfaces for the GTK+ toolkit and the GNOME desktop environment, released under the GNU GPL License. The user interfaces designed in Glade are saved as XML, and by using the libglade library these can be loaded by applications dynamically as needed. By using libglade, Glade XML files can be used in numerous programming languages including C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, C#, Pike, Ruby, Haskell, Objective Caml and Scheme. Adding support for other languages is easy too."

The modules that have been retracted for possible later inclusion are: Gnome Scan, a project whose goal is to add scanner capabilities across the desktop applications, the Tracker search and index tool and MonoDevelop, a GNOME IDE for C# and other .NET languages.

The list of removed modules includes gnome-main-menu and the Anjuta DevStudio, a C/C++ IDE. Anjuta has been removed because the stable version is unmaintained and the development version is not ready yet.

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System Applications

Database Software

PostgreSQL Weekly News

The January 21, 2007 edition of the PostgreSQL Weekly News is online with the latest PostgreSQL DBMS articles and resources.

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SQLite 3.3.11 released

Version 3.3.11 of the SQLite DBMS is out. "Version 3.3.11 fixes for a few more problems in version 3.3.9 that version 3.3.10 failed to catch. Upgrading is recommended."

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Embedded Systems

BusyBox 1.4.0 announced

Version 1.4.0 of BusyBox, a collection of command line utilities for embedded systems, is out with a lot of new capabilities and bug fixes. "Since this is a x.x.0 release, it probably is a bit less "stable" than usual."

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Web Site Development

Django 0.95.1 released

Version 0.95.1 of the Django web development platform has been announced. "We've just rolled out Django 0.95.1, a new minor release of Django which includes fixes for several bugs discovered in the original 0.95 release". Upgrades are recommended.

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Rails 1.2 released

Version 1.2 of the Rails web development platform has been announced. "We got the RESTful flavor with new encouragement for resource-oriented architectures. We’re taking mime types, HTTP status codes, and multiple representations of the same resource serious. And of course there’s the international pizzazz of multibyte-safe UTF-8 wrangling. That’s just some of the headliner features. On top of that, there’s an absolutely staggering amount of polish being dished out."

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Making XML in a Rails App (O'Reilly)

Deepak Vohra uses XML within Ruby on Rails on O'Reilly's "Ruby on Rails is a database-based web framework. An XML document may be created and parsed with Ruby on Rails. Rails provides a Ruby library called Builder to generate XML markup. The Builder package contains class Builder::XmlMarkup to generate an XML document. In this article, we will create an XML document from a database table with the Builder library."

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Java Web Development with Stripes (O'Reilly)

Mark Eagle looks at Stripes on O'Reilly. "Stripes is an open source, action-based Java web framework designed around the principles that web development should be simple and productive for developers. Traditional Java web development focused on versatility through decoupling, which resulted in multiple configuration files, additional objects, and other fragmented resources. These difficulties subjected many developers to a higher learning curve and reduced productivity. As a result, some Java developers have been lured away by non-Java frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Django. Java web frameworks, like Stripes, are beginning to learn from the successes of alternative frameworks that streamline development. This article will show how Stripes distinguishes itself from other action based Java web frameworks, such as Struts, while supplying some of the simplicity available in Ruby on Rails."

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Tina POS 0.0.21 released (SourceForge)

Version 0.0.21 of Tina POS, a point of sale application for touch screens, has been announced. Changes include: New database support: Oracle, Better user/role management, New binary package with better third party libraries support, Third party libraries upgrade and Many bugs fixed.

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Desktop Applications

Audio Applications

Amarok Weekly News Issue 5 Released (KDE.News)

KDE.News has announced issue #5 of the Amarok Weekly Newsletter: "This issue covers the fine tuning of the scoring algorithm, new fadeout options, configurable playlist color, as well as new handy tool for editing filters. Traditionally, with tips included."

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Ardour 2.0 beta 11.1 released

Release 2.0 beta 11.1 of Ardour, a multi-track audio workstation, has been announced. "With several crash fixes, a smattering of minor featurettes, a tubful of bugs squashed and a whole dose of community support comes 2.0 beta11.1."

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eSpeak 1.18 released

Version 1.18 of the eSpeak text to speech converter has been released, it adds asynchronous modes, two command-line invocation methods, a new voice variants feature, new languages and more.

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Business Applications

MaklerPlus 1.2 released

Version 1.2 of MaklerPlus, an online real estate catalog system, is available. "In this version some bugs were fixed, including some installation problems. The French translation of the layout is included. The function “fast contact” sends the inquiries directly to the object advertisers, with a copy to the email of the managers of MaklerPlus."

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Varkon 1.18B released

Stable version 1.18B of Varkon, a CAD system, has been announced. "VARKON can be used as a traditional CAD-system with drafting, modelling and visualization if you want to but the real power of VARKON is in parametric modelling and CAD applications development. VARKON includes interactive parametric modelling in 2D or 3D but also the unique MBS programming language integrated in the graphical environment."

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Data Visualization

PLplot release 5.7.2 announced

Development release 5.7.2 of PLplot, a library of scientific plotting functions, is available. The change log lists the new capabilities. "This is a routine development release of PLplot. It represents the ongoing efforts of the community to improve the PLplot plotting package."

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Desktop Environments

GNOME Software Announcements

The following new GNOME software has been announced this week: You can find more new GNOME software releases at

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KDE Software Announcements

The following new KDE software has been announced this week: You can find more new KDE software releases at

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The Road to KDE 4: Job Progress Reimagined (KDE.News)

KDE.News looks forward to the KDE4 job tracker. "Picture it as a cross between the Firefox download manager and the KDE printer queue, except that there is no real restriction on what type of jobs can be monitored. The way it works is that each KDE 4 app that has a progress dialog adds a flag for something called an Observer. Then, a separate application can observe any running Jobs, displaying progress and even adding certain actions (like 'Cancel Download') which can be submitted back to the application that actually has the progress dialog."

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KDE Commit-Digest for 21st January 2007 (KDE.News)

The January 21, 2007 edition of the KDE Commit-Digest has been announced. The content summary says: "KHangman becomes the latest application to migrate to SVG-based scalable interface rendering. KOpenBabel is merged and the beginnings of a 3d navigation system in Kalzium. Work expands in the Umbrello/KPlato Student Mentoring program. Support for the ComicBook Archive and other improvements in okular. Work on Picture, Video and Krita "Flake" shapes in KOffice. Improvements in both the KDE 3.5 and 4.0 versions of Konsole. Language detection in Sonnet continues to mature. Import of concept code demos in Decibel. "Simple-search" user interface work, and support for indexing binary data fields in Strigi. "liveui" moves back into kdelibs. dbmodeler, a database schema modelling application (part of the Season of KDE), is renamed "grama"."

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Xfce 4.4 released

Xfce 4.4 has been released. The release announcement has pointers to screenshots and download information.

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Xorg Software Announcements

The following new Xorg software has been announced this week: More information can be found on the X.Org Foundation wiki.

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Financial Applications

SQL-Ledger 2.6.23 is available

Version 2.6.23 of SQL-Ledger, a web-based accounting system, has been announced. Changes include: "fixed formatting error for "ship" field when European number format is in use".

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Cyphesis 0.5.11 released

The WorldForge game project has announced the release of version 0.5.11 of Cyphesis. "Cyphesis is a small to medium scale server for WorldForge games, with builtin AI. This version includes the demo game Mason which is currently in development. This release is intended for server administrators wishing to run a Mason server and World developers developing new worlds or game systems."

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Mail Clients

Mozilla Thunderbird 2 Beta 2 Released (MozillaZine)

MozillaZine notes that the second Thunderbird 2 beta release is out. "Features new to Thunderbird 2 include message tags, folder views, session navigation history, a visual refresh of the theme, and improved new mail notification alerts." See the release notes for more information.

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Web Browsers

SeaMonkey 1.1 Released

Version 1.1 of SeaMonkey, an internet application suite with a web browser, e-mail, newsgroup and IRC clients and an HTML editor, is out. "Powered by the same engine as Firefox 2 and the upcoming Thunderbird 2, SeaMonkey 1.1 includes numerous enhancements including more visible security indicators in the browser and enhanced phishing detection for e-mail, a new tagging system for e-mail that supersedes labels, support for multi-line tooltips in web pages, and previews images in tab tooltips. Other changes include inline spell checking in the browser, an updated version of ChatZilla, and a significantly improved startup script on Linux."

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bzip2 1.0.4 is available

Version 1.0.4 of the bzip2 compression utility is out with bug fixes and other improvements.

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Languages and Tools


Caml Weekly News

The January 23, 2007 edition of the Caml Weekly News is out with new Caml language articles.

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What's New in Prototype 1.5? (O'Reilly)

Scott Raymond covers Prototype 1.5 on O'Reilly's "The latest release of Ruby on Rails, version 1.2, was announced last week to great fanfare. But the announcement might have overshadowed news of a simultaneous release: version 1.5 of Prototype, the popular JavaScript library. Despite the synchronization and developer overlap between the two projects, nothing about Prototype depends on Rails—it's perfectly suitable for use with any server-side technology. In fact, Prototype has amassed a huge user base beyond the Rails community—from dozens of Web 2.0 startups to household names like Apple, NBC, and Gucci."

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Weekly Perl 6 mailing list summary (O'Reilly)

The January 21, 2007 edition of the Weekly Perl 6 mailing list summary is out with coverage of the latest Perl 6 developments.

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Why I Stopped Coding and Why I'd Start Again (O'ReillyNet)

Brian McConnell writes about Python in an O'Reilly article. "What happens when programming stops being fun? What do you do when juggling dependencies and worrying about installation issues takes all of the joy out of writing code for other people? You can stop coding... or you can try to address the underlying problems. Brian McConnell postulates an enhancement of the Python language to make programming as fun as it was in the BASIC-in-ROM minicomputer days."

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The January 22, 2007 edition of the Tcl-URL! is online with new Tcl/Tk articles and resources.

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cairomm release 1.2.4 now available

Release 1.2.4 of cairomm, a C++ API for the cairo graphics library, is out with a bug fix.

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IT++ 3.99.0 development release (SourceForge)

3.99.0 development release 3.99.0 of IT++ has been announced. "IT++ is a C++ library of mathematical, signal processing and communication system routines/functions. Its main use is in simulation of communication systems or for performing research in the area of communications. It has been over 10 months since the first release of IT++ 3.10.x stable series was released. During this period a lot of new functionality and improvements have been committed to the main branch (trunk) of the IT++ SVN repository. Therefore, we decided to publish a set of development releases as 3.99.x series before preparing a new stable branch 4.0.x."

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