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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

FreeGIS now available on CD. The FreeGIS project has released their first CD (also in German), proceeds of which will go back to this free software project. Contents of the CD will include programs familiar to many people in scientific institutions, such as GRASS (Geographic Resource Analysis Support System). Most of the tools included are licensed under the GPL or LGPL; exceptions are documented on the FreeGIS home page.

Bulletin Boards

Boardzilla. The Boardzilla project has announced its existence. The purpose of this project is to create the world's greatest open source forum system. They are looking for ideas, wishlists, and, of course, developers. More information can be found on their web pages. A perl-based core for the new BBS system was initially released two weeks ago.

Citadel/UX. For a more mature option, we received a note from Art Cancro, lead developer for Citadel/UX, a BBS system that has been around for over eleven years -- and is released under the GPL. It has some nice features, like the ability to access the BBS via a web interface. If these two projects haven't talked with each other before, perhaps they should.


IBM DB2 updates for Linux. IBM released a 105MB "Fixpak 2" for DB2 on Linux on December 7th. Anyone seriously using DB2 on Linux will probably want to take a look at this. Details can be found in the README or you can download the Fixpak directly. (Thanks to Philip Nelson.)


Linux Knowledge Base Weekly News. The second edition of the Linux Knowledge Base Weekly News has little to report this week, but promises more next week as developers get a chance to turn their "vacation" into progress for the project. For more information, check out the Linux Knowledge Base website.


Compil'Edux: Linux Applications for Education. Compil'Edux is a French site sponsored by the Groupe Guilde Education, which is working to "promote the use of Linux and Open Source software in French Education". [From LinuxForKids]

Mail Services

New Postfix Snapshot. Postfix snapshot 19991227 has been released. Although the development nature of this release indicates that Wietse, at least, does not yet consider postfix to be ready for stable use, there are people who are already using it and apparently very happily. This update includes several fixes, primarily aimed at how mail from untrusted clients is handled.

On the Desktop

Icewm hits first stable release. The developers of icewm, a "fast, usable window manager", have released their version stable version, 1.0.0. This should indicate a product reliable enough for anyone to give it a try. For comments on "Why so many window managers?", check out the Slashdot commentary.


Ali Abdin has posted a followup to his Gnome Developer Interview, including responses from Owen Taylor and Tim Janik on GTK+ that didn't make it into the original interview and a clarification from Miguel on plotting with Gnumeric.

In addition to discussing GTK, this followup covers Pango, a "modular set of libraries for doing layout and rendering of international text". This loooks extremely interesting and is certainly tackling a very hard problem. "I hope that Pango can become a standard, or at least commonly used library for handling these types of issues on open-source systems. There is a lot of activity now on enhancing internationalization support on Linux, often involving moving to using Unicode for representing text, but this has mostly centered on the "easy" languages ? things like Western European languages and East Asian languages. Not much attention has been paid yet to languages written right-to-left, such as Arabic and Hebrew, or the languages of South Asia, where rendering is a complex process without a one-to-one mapping between characters and glyphs. This is an area where commercial systems are currently considerably ahead of open-source systems; Pango is meant to close this gap."

For icon-lovers, many, many new icons have been developed for Gnome, according to the latest Gnome icon report.


A KDE Application Development Tutorial has been created and made available by Antonio Larrosa (mirror site). This should help jumpstart anyone interested in developing applications for the K Desktop Environment. [From KDE News]

Web Development

The Zope Weekly News. This week's Zope Weekly News mentions that Amos Lattier is starting to revisit FastCGI support and is therefore looking for bug reports. Also noted: the latest issue of Linux Magazine has a feature article that "talks about Digital Creations and Hadar Pedhazur at length."


The Wine Weekly News was not updated this week, presumably allowing the editors to better enjoy their holidays ...

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 30, 1999

Project Links
High Availability

More Information



Development tools


Perl is Y2K-compliant. If you need more detail than that, check out Tom Christiansen's latest essay on the topic. "The answer is that Perl is every bit as Y2K compliant as is your pencil; no more, and no less. Does that comfort you? It shouldn't. Just as you can commit Y2K transgressions with your pencil, so too you can do so with Perl -- or with any other tool, for that matter." It is a fun look at what he calls the Three Popular Lies of Y2K.


Dr. Dobbs' Python-URL!. This week's Python-URL! announces three package updates/releases, including KOALA 0.9.0, a database / GUI forms package for postgres and Gnome. It also contains, of course, pointers to the most valuable of the discussions on the python mailing list over the past week.


TclTicker 1.2. Tom Poindexter has released TclTicker 1.2, a simple stock ticker program. The new release does automatic ticker symbol lookup and contains a few other new features.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


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