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See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


InfoWorld ran a brief article about Java 2; it's mostly pretty positive. However: "Cons: Distributors of Java applications need to incorporate Sun's new licensing model into the budget; lacks support for Linux."

Those interested in the topic may wish to see Stig Hackvan's LinuxWorld article about the new Java license. This articletakes the position that, while the new license is a step in the right direction, there remains some ground to be covered.

TYA 1.2 for Linux is now available and, for the first time, FreeBSD support is included as well. TYA is a freely available, open source JIT . To find the new release, check out the announcement.


InfoWorld published an article on the success of the Python scripting language ("Python slithers forward"), but with particular mention of the Zope Web application platform. "Like its namesake's tendency to squeeze its prey, the success of the Python scripting language is applying pressure to vendors through open-source projects, adding Extensible Markup Language (XML) support and serving as the scripting language for a new Web application platform."

Dieter Maurer has posted a description of his WeakDict's, similar to Python's normal dictionaries but with exceptions to address CPython's problem with cyclic references.

Greg McFarlane has announced version 0.8 of his Pmw megawidgets, with a long list of changes.

Python Professional Services, Inc., is a commercial company providing support, software development and training for Python. They have started a project that they have dubbed the PPSI Community Center, a web site that they plan on using to provide information and technical facilities for Python's users. As a first step, the PPSI Community Center is now hosting Python-related mailing lists, in particular for Python2C and the Python/COM package.


Folks who believe that there is still an insufficient number of scripting languages out there may want to check out Ruby. It's an object oriented language out of Japan which appears to have taken a fair amount of inspiration from Python.


The Smalltalk web pages have been updated. They now have a salary survey, an update on who uses Smalltalk, links to other smalltalk pages and more. They are also looking for a corporate sponsor for the site.


Patrick Queutey has announced version 1.3 of TkfPW, a GUI "Fortran Programmer's Workshop", to assist in managing Fortran projects, both shared and unshared.

Mark Roseman has published this week's Tcl-URL!, the "weekly guide to Tcl resources". This week's edition covers several new software releases, including the beta release of the 8.1 core. Also included is a pointer to the Smaller Tcl Project, some thoughts on speeding up scripts and an article containing a kudo for Tcl.

December 17, 1998



Development projects

64-bit Freedom CPU

The project to build a 64-bit Freedom CPU has been announced. This project focuses on the design of a high speed, high performance 64-bit CPU for the Linux OS. The design would then be released under the GNU GPL and they are looking for contributors with hardware/VLSI/VHDL experience.


Geoff Hutchison writes in again to tell us that ht://Dig development is moving right along, with version 3.1.0b3 coming out this weekend. This version fixes a number of outstanding bugs and improves disk space and memory requirements slightly. In addition, there's a new feedback and bug reporting page and a contest to design a new ht://Dig logo. Interested designers should e-mail Geoff.


Dan Sawyer reports that Wine 981212 is a "keeper", with MS Word and Excel fixed and many other applications now working as well. Additional positive reports are coming in, too.


The Zope 1.9b3 release should happen on Thursday, December 17. This release will contain the much-awaited "Aqueduct" database access subsystem. A final 1.9 stable release is expected for early the following week. Meanwhile the Zope site has been reworked and enhanced, with more documentation than before. There is also an updated Questions and Answerssection.


There is a possibility that Gimp development could fork. This editorial, by Daniel Egger, outlines the problems he feels exists and proposes to start a new development fork to address them. In response, Zach Beane, editor of the Gimp News, has written a reply that explains some of the potential root causes of some problems and suggests that efforts to try and repair existing methods have not been tried. Forking off a development project is one of the privileges of the free software movement; the right to do so is part of what protects us when a developer loses interest. However, it is a right that should be exercised with extreme care. In this case, all encouragement should go to the parties involved to try other methods to resolve any disagreements.

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