Ask OSNews: What About Nemesis?

Klint Finley writes: "I have a question for the OS news community: There's been a lot of talk about "BeOS refugees" and analysis of various alternatives but one that I haven't read much discussion of is Nemesis. There was some brief commentary when OSNews ran a story on it, but that's about it. Nemesis already has Java and GTK support , which means it should be capable of running a lot of programs. Seems like the GIMP and Kino should run on it. And it has an Amiga/BeOS-ish UI and a slim microkernal. So why isn't anyone developing this? It needs more hardware support and stuff, but it's already much further along than BlueOS and OpenBeOS."

Open-Sourcing the Apple

This is an old article (Nov. 2000), but it is still a good read. Jordan Hubbard, the well known FreeBSD leader who later got a job at Apple's kernel team, had written this interesting MacOSX review for Salon.com. His article was from a different point of view than other review articles at the time: the open source hacker who tries to find and uncover the UNIX underneath OSX.

GUI Olympics 2002 Officially Begins

The major skin sites and several tech news sites (including OSNews) have gotten together with Stardock to create the first GUI Olympics. It is the ultimate user interface design contest in which users from around the world can submit their WindowBlinds skins and represent the website of their choice. Stardock is putting up $10,000 in cash and prizes that will be distributed to 75 different award categories (which means that just submitting a skin gives you a reasonable chance of winning something). Half of the cash award goes to the website a user represents. In this way, users can support the websites they enjoy using as well as win for themselves and have a lot of fun.

Compiling Java Into Native code

"When it was first introduced, it seemed that Java native compilation would surely topple the JVM, taking with it the Java platform's hard-fought platform independence. But even with its growing popularity and the increasing number of native compilers on the market, native compilation has a way to go before it poses a real threat to Java code's portability. Unfortunately, it also may be a while before the technology is mature enough to resolve the Java performance issues so many of us struggle with today." The article discusses the pros and cons of generating native code from Java source. Update: Steve Klingsporn says "TowerJ compiles java byte code into native code, and works quite well."

Breakthrough for Penguin-Heads

"Linux users' and developers' lives have just gotten a little easier. The Free Standards Group released two tools on Thursday intended to ensure that all Linux applications can run on any Linux Standard Base-compliant version of the open source operating system: LSB 1.1 and Li18nux 1.0. Some commercial application developers, including Microsoft, have slammed open source development, saying that it lacks the necessary controls to define the common programming standards that need to be used across different projects to ensure compatibility." Read the rest of the story at Wired.

Voice Recognition: Another Dead End

"You've heard of killer apps? How about an app killer? This is what voice recognition has become over the years, because for the most part, it doesn't work. I see no evidence that it ever will, at least not in the sense that we can achieve true voice dictation capability. What annoys everyone most about voice recognition is that it almost works. This is the problem. When something almost works, developers continue with the same thinking that got them to "almost," rather than starting over with new ideas. We are now stuck in a blind alley." Who else? Dvorak is hitting the nail in the head again.

Debugging in Visual Studio .NET & Understanding PE

"A powerful feature of Visual Studio .NET is its ability to debug across languages that target the common language runtime, and across execution environments. For example, if you write a Visual Basic .NET component that is called by a C# component that is in turn called by COBOL code (that targets the runtime), you can seamlessly step between languages when debugging. You can also see a single callstack that shows the different functions called in the languages you just stepped through." Read the rest of the article at MSDN. "A good understanding of the Portable Executable (PE) file format leads to a good understanding of the operating system. If you know what's in your DLLs and EXEs, you'll be a more knowledgeable programmer. This article, the first of a two-part series, looks at the changes to the PE format that have occurred over the last few years, along with an overview of the format itself. After this update, the author discusses how the PE format fits into applications written for .NET, PE file sections, RVAs, the DataDirectory, and the importing of functions. An appendix includes lists of the relevant image header structures and their descriptions." Read the rest of the article at MSDN.

FreeBSD Week: Migrating from Linux to FreeBSD

By now, anyone who is even remotely related to an IT-type position has heard about Linux, and has most likely used it, if only to see what all the hype is about. However, GNU/Linux is not the only "free" Unix type OS available. FreeBSD and its cousins, NetBSD and OpenBSD are all offshoots of BSD UNIX, a commercial UNIX also known as Berkeley Software Distribution. This article will help you learn more about FreeBSD, its differences from Linux, and it will ease a potential migration process.

Geoworks Throws in Towel and Puts GEOS up for Sale

"Wireless software pioneer Geoworks Corp has thrown in the towel, giving up hope of developing its AirBoss application platform technology and has put it up for sale along with the source code for its GEOS and GEOS-SC operating systems. The Alameda, California-based company said the wireless infrastructure market is "very weak" and, while it will eventually be significant as enterprises adopt mobile data applications, Geoworks simply does not have the financial resources to support development of the AirBoss platform and wait for the market to emerge." Read the rest of the story at TheRegister.

The Need for a Patch Penguin

"A proposal to help Linus Torvalds keep up with patches for Linux has sparked a controversy over whether the operating system has outgrown its creator. On Monday, Rob Landley, a computer programmer, writer and Linux evangelist, posted a proposal to the Linux kernel development list calling for a "Patch Penguin"--a person who would help integrate fixes for the myriad of small problems that plague the current development kernel, Linux 2.5." Read the rest of the story at C|Net News. In other Linux news, test kernel 2.5.3 was released yesterday.

Caldera Releases OpenLinux 3.1.1

Caldera International, Inc. announced the immediate availability of Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1.1 and Caldera OpenLinux Server 3.1.1. These versions of OpenLinux Workstation and OpenLinux Server feature several technical enhancements and capture the best tools for Linux software development and deployment. In addition to these technical updates, each release features localization in English, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Traditional and Chinese Simplified languages. The new version includes Linux 2.4.13 kernel, KDE 2.2.1, support for Caldera Volution Messaging Server and Caldera Volution Manager 1.1 & Samba version 2.2.2 (OpenLinux Server only).

Looking for a Few Good ‘Code Demons’

"A year after Australia's one-man army started pounding out code for GNU/Linux's version of .Net, he's looking to double the quarter of a million lines of code already written before done, and hopes to do so in six months if he can convince some new "code demons" to sign up to the cause. "We're moving full-steam ahead," said Rhys Weatherley, the Brisbane developer who had written 254,423 lines of code by December last year - just 12 months after throwing himself into his Portable.NET project." Read the rest of the story at ZDNews.

OSNews Web Site News

It has been 5.5 months since OSNews is online in this form and we have grown incredibly. The scary part (bandwidth-wise) is that we are continuing to grow incredibly fast. For example, when we started back in mid-August 2001, we were merely receiving 600 page views per day, while January 2002 has awarded us with 23,500 page views per day on average (~740,000 page views per month). I would like to thank you all for participating in this growth and encouraging us continue... news hunting. I would also like to inform you that the site layout of OSNews will change soon slightly and also I would like to prompt everyone who would like to have up to the minute access to OS News and other well known sites (Slashdot, CNet, FreshMeat and 90 more sites) from his/her Windows desktop, to download KlipFolio and the needed OSNews klip file (to get it, browse their Directory page after the necessary registration). Screenshot available.

FreeBSD Week: Book Review of “FreeBSD Unleashed”

With more and more people migrating away from Microsoft's platforms, it's increasingly important for alternative operating systems to be well documented in order to attract and maintain new users. FreeBSD is already well documented; its on-line handbook is an extremely well detailed guide to the OS as a whole. But for the user new to FreeBSD, or even Unix as a whole, salvation may come in the form of SAMS' FreeBSD Unleashed by Michael Urban and Brian Tiemann.