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Aplus Language   25 Sep 04
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A+ is a descendant of APL (AplLanguage) and a predecessor of K (KayLanguage). Arthur Whitney developed A+ in the late ‘80s in response to employer Morgan Stanley’s need to move their APL applications from mainframes to Sun workstations. He later left Morgan Stanley and wrote K.

A+ is open source. link   25 Sep 04
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Thanks to Valerie for the link
 have a look at and type bush or chirac or armin roehrl :-)

Brown table strategy   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Dilbert) Today's Dilbert fits in wonderfully with the current outsourcing mania. link

Rails 0.65 is out!   25 Sep 04
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P.S.: Do not

 gem install rails

if you have files in app

Update: David has fixed that bug, but it should teach us all a leson to keep using CVS/Subversion all the time.

ruvi 0.4.11   25 Sep 04
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 in the very near future i'll be releasing ruvi 0.4.11.
 its a fairly complete vi(m) reimplementation in ruby
 thats getting to be fairly mature.
 includes stuff like:
   auto indent
   ruby highlighting
   curses interface
   macro support (new in .11)
   undo / redo
   class/module/method selector (major speedup in .11)
   word/filename completion in buffer (new for .11)
   rrb refactoring

Why Parrot Matters   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Manny Swedberg; ruby-talk-ML) The Parrot team’s firm intention is to have Parrot run Python and Ruby just as well as Perl6. This is helped(?) by the fact that the plans for Perl6 are so feature-rich (not to say -bloated ;) that supporting everything in it basically means supporting everything in Ruby. Things that are in Ruby, but not Perl6, like continuations are slatted to be added to Parrot anyways out of sheer good-neighborliness. It should, in fact, be possible to compile any dynamic scripting language into Parrot code: scheme, integer basic, befunge…whatever.

Because Perl6 is so far away, support for Ruby and Python is probably actually going to come first. A big test, the first major public showing of Parrot, is going to come at this year’s O’Reilly convention. Python/Parrot is going head to head benchmarking with CPython. The loser gets a pie in the face; watch for it.

Parrot matters. To scripting-language hackers generally, to Ruby hackers specifically, and to the Open Source movement as a whole.

Parrot promises to furnish a fast, portable environment for every major scripting language. This will remove one of the big obstacles to more widespread deployment: speed. Moreover, if I download a Parrot VM to run someone’s PyGame program on my machine, I already have what I need to run your Ruby or Perl program without further dependency worries: viral portability. Fast Ruby means more Ruby hackers. Fast Python and Perl means more hackers in those languages and thus more people who might take a look at Ruby; a common runtime would make the transition even easier.

For OSS as a whole, Parrot promises a rival to Java or .Net without corporate ownership, developed as open source, for languages that are open source and in which tons of open source code is already written. As the Gnome project considers a new development language, a timely Parrot implementation could mean an in for Python, maybe even Ruby. That would be awesome.

Parrot is a respectable ways along. Not by any means done, but more than vaporware. Support for objects was recently added.

Parrot page

Parrot frontend

[ANN] rpa-base 0.2.1pre1   25 Sep 04
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Mauricio aka batman at his best again!!! Make sure you check out the animation on the website.
 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 is now available at .
 Many of the most popular libraries/applications as per Rubyforge
 statistics (rails, rake, redcloth, activerecord, sqlite, log4r, copland,
 ruvi, to name a few) have been packaged for use with rpa-base 0.2.1pre1.

 You can find a list of the 100+ packages at

 Screenshots and animations can be found at

 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 fixes some issues in the bootstrapping phase, which
 couldn't hence be solved through the normal self-upgrade mechanism.
 In addition to several other bugfixes, 0.2.1pre1 features better proxy
 support, isolation of unit tests run automatically when installing a
 lib/app, and improvements in the command-line tool.


 The Ruby Production Archive (RPA) will provide packages of Ruby
 libraries and programs in a form that allows production use, engineered
 through a stringent process resembling FreeBSD's or Debian's.

 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA. Its scope and
 purposes are different to those of other systems like RubyGems.
 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA's client-side
 package management. You can think of it as RPA's apt-get + dpkg. It
 features the following as of 0.2.1pre1:

 * strong dependency management: rpa-base installs dependencies as needed,
   keeps track of reverse dependencies on uninstall, and will remove no
   longer needed dependencies
 * atomic (de)installs: operations on the local RPA installation are atomic
   transactions; the system has been designed to survive ruby crashes (OS
   crashes too on POSIX systems)
 * parallel installs: you can install several ports in parallel; builds
   will be parallelized and the final phase will be serialized properly
 * self-hosting: rpa-base installs and updates itself
 * modular, extensible design: the 2-phase install is similar to FreeBSD and
   Debian's package creation; rpa-base packages need not be restricted
   to installing everything under a single directory ("1 package, 1 dir"
 * rdoc integration: RDoc documentation for libraries is generated at install
   time (currently disabled on win32)
 * ri integration: ri data files are generated for all the libraries managed
   by RPA; you can access this information with ri-rpa
 * handling C extensions: if you have the required C toolchain, rpa-base can
   compile extensions as needed
 * unit testing: when a library is installed, its unit tests are run; the
   installation is canceled if they don't pass

 Several of the above features are illustrated in the screenshots and
 animations available at

 A number of features have been pushed back to 0.3.0:
 * full support for binary platform-specific packages
 * signed packages/ports
 * system-wide configuration system
 * better user interface
 In practice, the first one is the most limiting at the moment since it means
 that win32 users in particular need a working C toolchain to install
 extensions. This will soon be addressed.


History lesson: PRINT I -- The First Load-and-Go System   25 Sep 04
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Thanks to Stefan for forwarding me the link. I like the Java-bashing.
 This vignette is primarily about an interpretive program I created for IBM
 in 1956. In one of those "lessons lost" it has a lot to do with today's
 JAVA language, 40 years later.

 How? Well, JAVA is an interpreter, too. A form of language processor that
 was supposed to have been obsoleted by compilers like FORTRAN and COBOL.

 I had found, as the JAVA people did, that interpreters were slow, slow!
 And I created a preprocessor to modify the source so that every decision
 that would be made exactly the same would be made once and for all at
 the beginning, in the source program as modified. Hello, JIT compilers!

Product Pricing Primer   25 Sep 04
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Informative read by Eric Sink.

Nutch - a free search engine   25 Sep 04
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Right from the faq:

Why does the world need Nutch, when search engines are free? Search engines are free to use like television is free to watch, but, like television programming, search results are subject to manipulation by the interests that control them. The only way one can be certain that search results are unbiased is if the technology which computes them is public. Nutch seeks to make high-quality search technology freely available.

How can a non-profit afford to run a search engine?

Nutch is primarily a software project, not a service. Large scale deployments of Nutch will probably be run by commerical interests separate from Nutch, funded by advertising or somesuch. If the Nutch software is good enough, perhaps existing major search engines will use it in place of their current closed source code.

The Nutch project itself may choose to host small-scale demo system, so that folks can see that it really works. This will require only moderate funding. The Nutch project may never host a full-scale deployment for folks to use as their everyday search engine. We’ll leave that to commercial ventures that can afford it.

Will Nutch ever be as good as other search engines?

We hope it will be better. With developers and researchers from around the world helping out, we hope to be able to surpass the quality of what any single company can do.



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