Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Development page.
News and EditorialsThe System Administrator's Guild of Australia, SAGE-AU has written a document titled the The Open Source Developer's Agreement that addresses some of the issues that developers will face when writing open software while working for commercial entities. (Thanks to Andrew van der Stock, SAGE-AU President). It's an interesting issue that concerns anyone with an employment contract that gives their company rights to employee software developments. Corporate lawyers can have a rather quick, freezing effect on employees who want to work on open-source projects, and could possibly bring a halt to the project itself. SAGE-AU has provided several suggested clauses for insertion into new employment contracts. Current employees may have a tougher time changing existing agreements. Forward-thinking companies will surely see the benefits of having open-source project contributors on the payroll, and could adopt the necessary contract changes for current employees.
Beonex, a Mozilla variation. Ben Bucksch has announced Beonex, a web browser based on Mozilla. "Mozilla.org is chartered to produce source code only, enabling distributors (or "vendors") to create applications based on Mozilla code. While fulfilling this role, it also creates binaries, but officially, they are only intended for testing, not end-users." The aim of the Beonex project is to make Mozilla more accessible to corporate and non-technical users.
Seul Report 33 (SEUL.org). The November 20 issue of the Simple End User Linux/edu report is out. This issue discusses desktop publishing under Linux, and mentions several new open-source educational programs.
gEDA tool updates. The gEDA site has announced new versions of Icarus PAL, the gEDA PAL programming software, gwave, a waveform viewer program, and Icarus Verilog, a Verilog compiler.
Open Game Source: Bt Builder. A review of Bard's Tale Construction Set, the package designed to aid in developing single-player role playing games, gives rise to an alternative open source implementation by the author of the review.
Embedding Linux in a DiskOnChip (LinuxDevices.com). Adapted from John Lombardo's upcoming book, Embedded Linux, which will be published by New Rider's press in 2001, this article from Linux Devices.com talks about putting together a kernel image targeted at an M-Systems DiskOnAChip flash device. "This article guides you through the process of building a custom Linux image and installing it on the DiskOnChip in such a way that you will not violate the GPL. The image will be bootable and you will be able to distribute the hardware without any sort of spinning media; hard drive, floppy drive or CD-ROM."
Embedded Linux Newsletter - November 23rd, 2000 (LinuxDevices.com. The weekly Embedded Linux Newsletter is out. Topics include an GUI/Windowing Quick Reference Guide and an interview with the CEO of Esfia.
Wine Weekly News #70 and #71. The November 21, 2000 issue of the Wine Weekly News is out, the quest for clean DLL separation is the main topic in this issue. The November 27, 2000 issue is also out, there is some discussion on the state of Corel and rumors of Wine code being used by Microsoft.
OpenNMS Update - Volume 1, Issue 36. The latest issue of OpenNMS Update has been published. Topics include the scheduled code freeze, hints of Sun's Java Shared Data Toolkit (JSDT) going open source, and an updated time-line for OpenNMS.
AbiWord Weekly News - November 24, 2000. The latest edition of the AbiWord Weekly News has been published. News this week includes CJK support, improvements to the Word import capabilities, and a new release schedule.
On the Desktop
The KDE League, Explained. For those who haven't seen it, here's a discussion of the reasoning behind the KDE League by core developer Chris Schlaeger. "So promoting KDE is almost as important as working on KDE. Recent studies show that KDE is used on more the 70% of all Linux desktops. We could fight for those remaining 30% but given that Linux has less than 5% of the overall desktop market we should rather target the 95% of desktop users than compete with our friends from the GNOME project. Just converting 5% of Windows users will get us more KDE users than converting all GNOME users. But those users know little about Open Source, Linux or KDE and posting to some mailing lists won't change this. To address those users we have to communicate through other channels that we have little experience with." Worth a read.
The People Behind KDE: Chris Schlaeger and Lars Knoll (KDE.org). KDE.org has run a few more articles in the series on the People Behind KDE, this week features Chris Schlaeger. Also see the article on Lars Knoll, which was published last week after LWN went online.
AudioCD KIOSlave Debut. Here's a bleeding edge tool that allows you to browse audio CDs in Konqueror. Hooks for CDDB support have been included, but the actual code has yet to be written.
KDE 2.0.1 and 2.1 beta (KDE Dot News). According to KDE Dot News, the 2.0.1 bugfix release of KDE is due out on December 4th. A 2.1 beta release is scheduled for release a few weeks later.
Debian joins GNOME Foundation. An official announcement from the Debian Project has been released stating that project's recent acceptance of an invitation to join the GNOME Foundation's Advisory Board.
First preview release of GNOME Metatheme. The first preview release of GNOME Metatheme, a system that allows easy creation, updating and saving of GNOME themes, has been released. Metatheme development is being sponsored by Helix Code.
Simple ASP support in GNOME Basic. Version 0.0.16 of GNOME Basic, aka GB, has been announced. "There is now simple support for Active Server Pages(ASP) in GB which takes us one step further in getting Apache feeling more like that webserver from Redmond." We hope that they proceed cautiously with that goal.
Free and Open Source Basics (Linux Med News). Linux Med News has published an article that explains open source basics to the uninitiated. This is a good summary of the differences between open-source and closed-source software and can clear things up for people who are new to this world. A good read and worth forwarding.
Midgard Weekly Summary. Here's the Midgard Weekly Summary for November 23. It covers a new demo site that will be packaged with Midgard, and the upcoming 2.0 release.
Zope 2.2.4 released. Version 2.2.4 of the Zope web publishing system has been released. This version fixes a permissions error that showed up in version 2.2.3, and includes a few more bug fixes as well.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
November 30, 2000
DISLIN Data Plotting Software. Version 7.4 of the DISLIN Data plotting package has been released. "DISLIN is a high-level and easy to use plotting library for displaying data as curves, bar graphs, pie charts, 3D-colour plots, surfaces, contours and maps. Several output formats are supported such as X11, VGA, PostScript, CGM, HPGL, TIFF, PNG and Prescribe." Sounds useful.
Jython 2.0a1 released. Version 2.0a1 of Jython, the Java based Python compiler, has been released. This version includes numerous bug fixes and better compatibility with CPython 2.0.
Java Language Essentials tutorial (IBM DeveloperWorks). IBM's DeveloperWorks has an online tutorial available that gives an introduction to the Java language. "This tutorial introduces the Java programming language. It includes examples that demonstrate the syntax of the language in an object-oriented framework, along with standard programming practices such as defining instance methods, working with the built-in data types, creating user-defined data types, and working with reference variables." Registration is required.
Java Media Framework 2.1.1 b2 released. Blackdown has released JMF version 2.1.1 b2 for Linux/i386. "The Java Media Framework (JMF) is an API for incorporating audio, video and other time-based media into Java applications and applets. It is an optional package that extends the multimedia capabilities on the Java2 platform."
Cultured Perl: Debugging Perl with ease (IBM DeveloperWorks). In an IBM DeveloperWorks article, Teodor Zlatanov writes about debugging perl programs. Generic code debugging is described as well as the use of the built-in Perl debugger and the CPAN Devel::ptkdb package.
PHP Weekly News for November 27, 2000. Issue 13 of the PHP Weekly News is available. Topics include passing by reference, compressed output buffering, and work on the official PHP language specification.
Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! - November 28th, 2000. The weekly edition of Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! has been published. Topics include a beta release of weak reference extensions and ALPY, a Python wrapper for Loki's OpenAL audio interface.
Python.Scripting.Com, new web site. Python programmers may want to take a look at Python.Scripting.com, a web site produced by UserLand Software, Inc. who intend to publish scripts on XML-RPC and SOAP. The site has lots of useful information on Python.
PyXML version 0.6.2 released. Version 0.6.2 of PyXML, the Python XML toolkit is out. PyXML consists of various Python XML tools such as XML parsers, DOM and 4DOM interfaces, and more.
Smalltalk Industry Council directions. Phil Hartley, executive director of the Smalltalk Industry Council (STIC) discusses the role of STIC in bringing Smalltalk advocates together.
Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! (November 27th, 2000). The weekly edition of Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL! has been published. Topics include the release of TclPro as open source software and scripting examples using round() and int().
Daisy: an open-source JIT compiler for large machines (IBM DeveloperWorks). In an article on IBM's DeveloperWorks, Maya Stodte discusses the DAISY project. "Emulation projects like DAISY are born when binary translation and just-in-time compilers meet together with a set of core architectural features. Although Transmeta uses a similar approach, their proprietary product only runs on a much narrower underlying machine. (And it's not open source anyway!) With user-transparency, 64 general purpose registers, and program parallelism, DAISY can make translation to VLIW and EPIC a piece of cake. Well, almost."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC)
Gnu Compiler for the Java Language (GCJ)
IBM Java Zone
Free the X3J Thirteen (Lisp)
Dr. Dobbs' Perl
PHP Weekly Summary
Tcl Developer Xchange