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Development projects

Netscape 6 preview release 1. Here's the press release for Netscape's release of the first preview version of Netscape 6.0. "Netscape 6 reverses the trend of continuously increasing the size of software with new releases. The new Netscape Navigator browser is a light 5.5MB download, about half the size of Navigator 4.08. Also, because Netscape 6 is based on Netscape Gecko, which speeds up the browsing experience for users, tables display much faster, pages resize instantly, and text information appears more quickly so users can start reading content on the page sooner."

LWN editor Jonathan Corbet downloaded the pre-release to check it out. He found the "pre release" categorization quite accurate and ran into a few inaccuracies in the press release. First, the full download turned out to be 10.7MB in size, not 5.5 as claimed. Second, the overall feel of the product is still slower than Netscape 4.X, with sufficient bugs to be annoying. Hopefully, Netscape will take the time to address these issues and have a great, polished product in hand before they release a final version of Netscape 6.

For more commentary, check:

Software Development - Apache Style (OpenSourceIT). In this how-we-do-it article in OpenSourceIT.com, Ken Coar discusses the Apache style of large-scale open-source software development. "The Apache development process is not static. It continues to evolve, through experiments such as seeing whether commit-then-review was a viable development alternative. That was clearly successful, and more recently, in November 1999, the project decided to try an experiment by moving the Web server documentation into a separate CVS module and 'lowering the bar' as to who has access to it (i.e., letting more people be able to modify it)." (Found in Advogato.)


Mozilla turns two. In celebration of Mozilla's second birthday, MozillaZine has posted a Mozilla timeline, complete with screenshots and photos.


Linux Certification Project to Release Second Exam. LPI has announced the completion of the development of exam 102, the second of two exams required to obtain Level 1 certification. The exam should be available for people to take by April 17th, just before the Linux Business Expo being held in conjunction with the Spring Comdex.

Open Source Education Foundation. The formation of the Open Source Education Foundation has been announced. A non-profit corporation based in Tucson, Arizona, OSEF is working to make the technology used in schools superior to that used in business and industry. "The Information Age is presenting new, exciting opportunities for education. Soon, students will be writing web pages instead of reports, passing e-mail instead of notes, and carrying computers instead of books. OSEF will be at the forefront delivering viable technologies to schools to help make this happen. "

SEUL/edu Linux in Education Report. This week's SEUL/edu Linux in Education Report is out. It provides a review of some of the initial projects that OSEF has announced, and highlights oss4lib, which is promoting the development of free software solutions for libraries.

OpenClassroom changes management, announces strategic alliance. Brendon Grunewald has stepped down from management of the OpenClassroom project and Jose Lacal has stepped up, according to this announcement. That also coincides with the announcement of a strategic partnership with Maxspeed Corporation.


LinuxForKids reported on two new games this week: kard, a new game from a new author, which is built along the principles of the "memory" card game of yore and gTans, from the author of CircusLinux.

High Availability

Report from the LinuxFailSafe symposium. Alan Robertson has sent us a report from the first LinuxFailSafe symposium, which boasted attendees from SuSE, SGI, Mission Critical Linux, TurboLinux, VA Linux, Red Hat, Compaq, tummy.com, Caldera, Eluminant, WireX, Continental Divide Robotics, and Lucent Technologies. LinuxFailSafe is a new project which is working to bring SGI's FailSafe high-availability software to Linux.

Heartbeat 0.4.7 released. Alan also announced the release of version 0.4.7 of his "heartbeat" high availability subsystem this week.


Wine Weekly News. This week's Wine Weekly News covers discussion topics for the week, including integration with Samba and memory protection.

Kernel Cousin Samba. This week's report from the Samba development lists addresses a variety of issues, including the age-old problem of synchronizing passwords between the operating system and Samba. A variety of partial solutions were put forth and example code provided.


OpenNMS project report v1.2. The latest project report from the OpenNMS project (Open Network Management) is in. Java, XML, Perl, leveraging off existing code, sub-project assignments and more are talked about this week.

Office Applications

Introduction to NEdit 5.1 (AboutLinux). AboutLinux looks at NEdit 5.1. "This article started out as a review of NEdit; but the more I used it, the more I appreciated it. After due consideration, I decided to turn the article into an 'Introduction to NEdit' - hopefully helping introduce people to this excellent editor."

Kernel Cousin Gimp. This week's Kernel Cousin Gimp announced the Gimp 1.1.19, comments on the new installation dialogs and outlines a wishlist for the Gimp 1.2. Details on the Gimp 1.1.19 are available from the Changelog.

Star Office 5.2 beta. A new beta release of StarOffice is out, promising "numerous bug fixes, improved import filters and Adabas database engine integration".

AbiWord Weekly News. This week's AbiWord Weekly News reports on difficulties using newer versions of libpng, and slowly improving Gnome support, among others. Best new feature this week: overwrite.

On the Desktop

Gnome Summary. The April 4th edition of the Gnome Summary from Havoc Pennington has a link to screenshots from the first application of Pango to GTK, demonstrating support for inter-mixing languages and right-to-left menu displays.

Gnome developer Federico Mena Quintero. Linux.com did an interview with Federico Mena Quintero. Of special interest, of course, was Evolution, the personal information manager that Federico is working on directly. "If you know the Microsoft Outlook architecture, then you'll know what we are aiming at. It is both a nice graphical client for handling personal information, as well as a set of components and libraries to build custom groupware applications such as voting systems, expense report systems, and other important tasks that work teams and offices need to handle."

KDE Development News (Apr 1). This week's KDE Development Newscovers the week of Sunday, March 26th through Saturday, April 1st. Although the kdelibs freeze date was pushed back from March 30th to April 3rd, there was still good news to report. Corel has assigned a half dozen Quality Assurance people to assist in testing KDE 1.9, has hired a full-time UI person to help with KDE UI design issues and is actively offering developer help for other tasks on the KDE jobs page.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Petreley took a look at KDE and Qt. "Qt has an ingenious method called signals and slots that it uses to link actions to visual objects. I discovered that Qt actually trains you to think in terms of object-oriented rather than procedural programming. Indeed, spending some time with Qt makes it clear why it is beneficial to write object-oriented code in the first place." (From Mosfet.org.)


Linux in Science (Mar 29). This week's Linux in Science report takes a look at a few tools (Grace, gASQL, GNOME Transcript, GUL, GSL, and SIMPL) and some other Linux/Open Source science projects (the OpenScience Project, the DEB Packages at the Pasteur Institute and Scientific Library Project).

FreeGIS report. Bernhard Reiter sent in a development report for the FreeGIS project. The FreeGIS project and its editors have announced the release of version 1.0.3 of the FreeGIS-CD, including new versions of GRASS (stable and development), tkgeomap, GMT data, PROJ, shapelib and gen2shp. For more information, check the Changelog.

Website Development

Zope Weekly News. Here is this week's Zope Weekly News. Check it out for the latest in Zope development information.

ht://Dig development update. Geoff Hutchison wrote in again with another ht://Dig development update. It appears the latest beta of the 3.2 code, 3.2.0b2, should be release within a few days, addressing all of the bugs in the previous beta. After the release, anyone who has pending patches should resubmit them to the htdig3-dev mailing list so they can be merged into the CVS tree. Geoff has also started talking to Dan Winship of the GNOME libibex indexing library. Hopefully, some shared code and good ideas will come from the collaboration.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 6, 2000

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Development tools

Report on Software Development 2000 (O'ReillyNet). Here's a report from Software Development 2000 on the O'Reilly network. "But it was the scope of Python at the conference that was truly striking. There were Python sessions every day and a short tutorial before the opening of the conference. There were Python BOFs and Python panels. But Python was also discussed in other sessions and speakers were generally approving. Why?"


Haskell Development Report. We received a note from Jens-Ulrik Petersen enclosing a development report from Simon Peyton-Jones for ghc, the Glasgow Haskell Compiler. For a bit more information on Haskell, check last week's Development Summary.


NTK on Perl 5.6 release. Here's NTK's take on the latest Perl release. "Our favourite feature: not only has the version numbering system changed to a 'v5.6.x' format, the Perlporters have introduced a special pseudo-type to support such version numbers, right damn well into the freaking language. Sauron's work, I tell you."


PHP 3.0.16 released. A new bugfix release of PHP, version 3.0.16, was announced on Wednesday, April 5th. From PHP.net: "This is mostly a bug fix release which adds support for gd-1.8, ucd-snmp 4.1, and high-resolution timers on OS/2. OpenBSD support has been improved considerably. The source package and Win32 binaries are available from the PHP homepage."


Pliant language release 34. Pliant - release 34 is now available. We last mentioned the Pliant language in February, 1999. It is also described in a bit more detail in Brave GNU World, Issue #13. This release marks their welcome to new contributors. "The Pliant 'one man project' stage is now over. Welcome to all of you contributors: I hope you will get fun with the parts you will carry, and get great rewards for that in a few years."


This week's Python-URL. Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL with information from the Software Development conference and lots of other good Python news, including a mention of the Python and Zope BOFs at the Colorado Linux Info Quest, which were very well attended, and a new alpha release of Python 1.6.

Python 1.6 scheduled for June. Python 1.6 has an "agressive alpha and beta release schedule running through April and May" and should have a final version out around June 1st. They are on track, with the first alpha released last Friday, March 31st.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

Language Links
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Perl News
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