GNU PDF is a recent, but high priority project of the Free Software Foundation. The project aims to build libraries for dealing with the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF): "The goal of the GNU PDF project is to develop and provide a free, high-quality, complete and portable set of libraries and programs to manage the PDF file format, and associated technologies." GNU PDF is being released under version 3 of the GNU General Public License.
GNU PDF appears to be a highly structured development effort. The Architecture document explains the organization of the libgnupdf library. The library is divided into four overlapping layers: the base layer, the object layer, the document layer and the page layer. The Tasks Management document explains the plan for carrying out the necessary work. The project roadmap gives an excellent graphical representation of the goals that are planned for and those that have already been achieved. Progress is happening along a diagonal front, some of the base tasks are complete, while the higher layer tasks are still in early stages of development. The GNU PDF Torture Chamber document describes the testing methodology. Finally, the Sources document explains the layout of the source code.
Other open-source projects could be well served by adopting this amount of organization. With such a well structured design process, the GNU PDF project should have a good chance at achieving its goals in a timely fashion. Those interested in working on the code should start with the developer information document, private and corporate sponsors are also needed for the project.
Database SoftwareThis is a bugfix release for the current production release family. It replaces MySQL 5.0.45." A security fix is also included.
Filesystem Utilitiesannounced. "Ext2Fsd is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (NT/2K/XP/VISTA, X86/AMD64). Modifications: remove the execute bits ('x' attribute in inode mode) for all newly created files".
Interoperabilityannounced. "Samba 3.0.28 is a security release to address CVE-2007-6015."
Mail SoftwareWe have continued the philosophy of making minimal changes to qmail. This release is to celebrate the release of qmail to the public domain, and to give package distributors a base to start from. We considered making this a qmail-1.04 release, but decided to leave the qmail name under Dan Bernstein's control. We encourage other people to do so as well. If you want to make a modified version of qmail, please do so under a different name, as we have."
Networking Toolsannounced. "Mpd supports thousands of Sync, Async, PPTP, L2TP, PPPoE, TCP and UDP links in client, server and access concentrator (LAC/PAC/TSA) modes. It is very fast and functional. Next beta version released. It includes some new features, performance optimizations, tunings and fixes."
Package Managementannounced. "Ria is the installer for a collection of available rpms to enable different restricted media formats in Fedora. It will make installing them easier while fixing the dependency problems by itself. Currently it supports XMMS, Mplayer, Xine, iPython."
Web Site Developmentannounced. "Blogmaker is a full-featured, production-quality blogging application for Django. It supports trackbacks, ping and comments with moderation and honeypot spam prevention. Blogmaker is released under a BSD license. You may "copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software" (to borrow a phrase from the more-or-less equivalent "MIT License"). Caveat: the current release (including these docs) is for people who are already familiar with Django or willing to poke around a bit." Midgard 1.8.5 "Refix" release includes minor bugfixes and enchancements." I'm happy to announce a very early Christmas present: Plone 3.0.4. This is the fourth maintenance release for Plone 3.0 and fixes several stability problems." announced. "Rails 2.0 is finally finished after about a year in the making. This is a fantastic release thats absolutely stuffed with great new features, loads of fixes, and an incredible amount of polish. Weve even taken a fair bit of cruft out to make the whole package more coherent and lean."
Audio ApplicationsThe HOgg package provides a commandline tool for manipulating Ogg files, and a corresponding Haskell library. HOgg is in hackage, or on the web at: http://www.kfish.org/~conrad/software/hogg/ This is the second public release. The focus is on correctness of Ogg parsing, production and editing. The capabilities of the hogg commandline tool are roughly on par with those of the oggz*  tools." announced. "The most obvious change in this release is that all the non-codec components (preprocessor, echo cancellation, jitter buffer) have been moved to a new libspeexdsp library. Other changes include a new jitter buffer algorithm and resampler improvements/fixes. This is also the first release where libspeex can be built without any floating point support. To do this, the float compatibility API must be disabled (--disable-float-api or DISABLE_FLOAT_API) and the VBR feature must be disabled (--disable-vbr or DISABLE_VBR)."
Data VisualizationMatplotlib, a Python-based 2D plotting package, is out. New capabilities include: enhanced mathtext, better configuration, writing to file-like objects, record array support, a new pyplot module, maskedarray support and a new plotfile command. See the What's New document for more information.
Desktop EnvironmentsThis is the third release of the GNOME 2.21.x series, heading towards the stable GNOME 2.22.x release." This release includes all of GNOME 2.21.3 plus a whole bunch of updates and fixes that were released after the GNOME freeze date. This is the third development release on our road towards GNOME 2.22.0, which will be released in March 2008."
ElectronicsLayoutEditor, a program to design and edit layouts for MEMS/IC fabrication, has been announced. "A new release has been published. Beside some smaller bugfixes it comes with a new introducing tutorial."
Gamesannounced. "Bridge Calculator is freeware program written by Piotr Beling which solves problems in the Bridge card game." announced. "Major changes in this version: Players can now create their own roads. The script API has been made much simpler. It is now trivial to run multiple servers on one machine. Memory usage has been reduced. A huge number of bugs have been fixed."
Graphicsannounced. The software is: "A Scriptable 3D Graphics modeler and renderer. By defining points and shapes in a 3-dimensional coordinate system, one can create a scene very quickly and easily a simple scripting language. The scene can then be animated and be added special effects."
Music ApplicationsThe Rosegarden team are giddy with probably short-lived delight at the release of version 1.6.0 of Rosegarden, an audio and MIDI sequencer and musical notation editor for Linux." A number of new features have been added to this release.
PDA SoftwareSome highlights: - the basics: POP/IMAP/SMTP (normal/secure); - IMAP folders support, and IMAP-IDLE ("push-email") - easy setup of new accounts - send and receive of rich text-emails - managing mail with your fingers - 100% open-source with a BSD-like license".
Languages and Tools
HTMLannounced. "HTMLi (HTML improved) is the AJAX framework that focuses in: * Transparent use for HTML designers * Multi-platform: 100% XSL (runs with Java, ASP, PHP, etc) * CSS Themes * Multi-Language * XML Handling - AJAX forms Live demo at http://www.htmli.com. new version includes "auto" behaviour in new elements, like datepicker, richtext, source."
Javaintroduces Raven in an O'Reilly ONJava.com article. "Build processes in Java haven't evolved much since the introduction of Ant or Maven. With the ability to use scripting languages like Groovy and JRuby on the JVM, the power of a full language can be brought to bear on the build process. This article discusses Raven, a build system for Java that uses JRuby."
PerlParrot Progress Report for November, 2007 has been published. "The last report was published in November as a "road map" for continued development of the Perl 6 on Parrot compiler (perl6). Since then we've basically been following the steps outlined on the road map and we are seeing significant progress on the compiler."
Pythonannounced. "Python 3000 (a.k.a. "Py3k", and released as Python 3.0) is a new version of the language that is incompatible with the 2.x line of releases. The language is mostly the same, but many details, especially how built-in objects like dictionaries and strings work, have changed considerably, and a lot of deprecated features have finally been removed. This is an ongoing project; the cleanup isn't expected to be complete until 2008. In particular there are plans to reorganize the standard library namespace."
ProfilersValgrind is an open-source suite of simulation based debugging and profiling tools. With the tools that come with Valgrind, you can automatically detect many memory management and threading bugs, which avoids hours of frustrating bug-hunting, and makes your code more stable. You can also perform detailed time and space profiling to help speed up and slim down your programs. 3.3.0 primarily contains tool enhancements: a restored and improved version of Helgrind, majorly revamped version of Massif, branch-mispredict profiling for Cachegrind, and new experimental tools (Omega and DRD). Also included is support for recent Linux distros, scalability improvements for gigabyte-sized applications, and modestly improved documentation."
Version ControlStGIT is a Python application providing similar functionality to Quilt (i.e. pushing/popping patches to/from a stack) on top of GIT. These operations are performed using GIT commands and the patches are stored as GIT commit objects, allowing easy merging of the StGIT patches into other repositories using standard GIT functionality."
Miscellaneousdiscusses the history of a number of programming languages on O'Reilly's Perl.com. "I think, to most people, scripting is a lot like obscenity. I can't define it, but I'll know it when I see it. Here are some common memes floating around: Simple language "Everything is a string" Rapid prototyping Glue language Process control Compact/concise Worse-is-better Domain specific "Batteries included" ...I don't see any real center here, at least in terms of technology. If I had to pick one metaphor, it'd be easy onramps. And a slow lane. Maybe even with some optional fast lanes."
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