The H Week - SeaMonkey, IDEs and patch days
This week, Mozilla's application suite SeaMonkey was released heralding a return of the browser suite, two hardware vendors have been rather clumsy in their release of open source code for the software that runs their products and two major Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) took a step forward.
Confidence in cloud computing services took a dent as a Microsoft subsidiary managed to lose, and then apparently recover, the personal data of Sidekick users. IT managers should have been busy as Microsoft and Adobe patch days once again coincided.
In the middle of this week The H switched over to a new Content Management System. While the change over went surprisingly smoothly our readers may have noticed some issues. We are aware that this caused a few glitches, for example our RSS feed was affected and we apologise for any errors that may have crept in to our site due to the change over.
The H's editor-in-chief Dj Walker Morgan examined how open source projects handle the introduction of major re-designs of their projects in his feature The Two Elephant Problem and suggested how this process might be improved.
Open Source news
The history of current Mozilla application suite SeaMonkey has deep roots extending back to Netscape Communicator from 1997. Unfortunately, since the focus at Mozilla changed to developing Firefox and Thunderbird as individual applications, re-integrating up-to-date versions of those applications to produce a new and current version of Sea Monkey has proven problematic. This makes the release this week of the RC1 version of Sea Monkey 2.0 quite a significant event, almost 4 years from the introduction of version 1.0 and roughly 11 months since the release of version 2.0 Alpha 2.
There's been a flurry of rather graceless product releases this week. Having pioneered the netbook field with machines running Linux ASUS had seemingly shied away from open source as an operating system on their recent netbook range. ASUS has now published Linux source code for its current Seashell line of netbooks, but without build scripts or configuration files.
Open source licence watchdog Harald Welte took Palm to task for not making the source code available for their GPL operating system for the European launch of the Palm Pre. Palm responded quite rapidly and made versions 1.1.2 and 1.1.3 of WebOS available on their source code web page.
There have been some developments in the world of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). The Eclipse project has released e4 milestone 1 of version 1.0 although version 3.6 is still being actively developed. IntelliJ was the last major Java development environment to remain as a purely commercial product, but the developers have now yielded to what was perhaps the inevitable and split IntelliJ releases into a free open source version and a commercial version with more features and paid support.
Having failed with their open source phone, the OpenMoko project unveiled a new product, perhaps their rumoured plan B, a pocket version of Wikipedia. Another interesting hardware based start-up company, Eigenlabs, announced their intention to open source release the control protocol and plug-in API for their new music controller, the Eigenharp.
The Thawte trust centre has announced that, from the middle of November, it will no longer be issuing free Web of Trust SSL certificates for personal email.
Confidence in the security of cloud computing was dashed somewhat when Sidekick customers were informed that the prophetically named service provider - Danger, a Microsoft owned subsidiary, had lost their data. Microsoft went to some lengths to distance themselves from the error and later announced that the lost data, or at least some, of it was being restored.
There were two patch days this week, as the established Microsoft patch Tuesday again coincided with one of Adobe's recently introduced patch days. Microsoft issued a massive 34 patches while Adobe
closed holes in Acrobat and Reader.
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