Open Recall: Scratch 2.0, plans for Vim 7.4, GlusterFS 3.4 beta
Open Recall is a space on The H for those things that are too small to package as news but are worth covering. In this edition: a beta of GlusterFS 3.4, version 2.0 of the Scratch interactive programming tool and language, GNU Awk 4.1.0, plans for the upcoming Vim 7.4, and version 2.0 of the open source data management platform CKAN.
- GlusterFS 3.4 beta – Red Hat has announced the first beta release of GlusterFS 3.4, its open source distributed filesystem. The beta version features improved QEMU support, integration with oVirt's GlusterFS management GUI, support for SSL encryption of in-flight data, and compatibility with NFSv3's access control lists. GlusterFS is available to download from the project's web site.
- Scratch 2.0 – The developers of Scratch, the programming language aimed at programming beginners that was created by the MIT Media Lab, have released version 2.0 of their language and accompanying web application. Scratch works by allowing learners to visually assemble blocks of code like a Lego set or a jigsaw. New features include an automatic save function in the Project Editor and the ability to paint vector images. Users can now use their webcam to interact with projects and can also create their own programming blocks in Scratch 2.0 and store values in variables that will be saved for them in their online project instance. The Scratch web application can be found at scratch.mit.edu and information on how to obtain its source code is available from the Scratch Wiki.
- GNU Awk 4.1.0 – The maintainers of GNU Awk, or gawk, have released version 4.1.0 of their tool, which now unifies the gawk, pgawk, and dgawk executables into the gawk command. This update also brings with it a number of changed command-line switches and gawk now also supports high-precision arithmetic with the MPFR library. A complete list of new features in gawk 4.1.0 is available in the release announcement.
- Plans for Vim 7.4 – Bram Moolenaar has announced that the release of Vim 7.4 will happen in the next few weeks. Vim is currently at version 7.3.931 and would reach version 7.3.999 soon, an event that Moolenaar says he wants to avoid: "I don't want to find out what happens if we go over that, so it's time for Vim 7.4!" The lead developer of the open source terminal-based text editor says that new features that will be implemented in the new version will include improved Python support for the Vim API, patches to the regular expression engine to make it faster, and a number of other patches and bug fixes that have been pending inclusion.
- CKAN 2.0 – The developers of the open source data management platform CKAN have released version 2.0 of their software, in what they call "the most significant piece of CKAN news since the project began." The developers say that data.gov, the US government's open data portal, will be re-launched running on CKAN 2.0 in the coming weeks, taking advantage of the improved user interface design, changes to the software's authorisation system and activity streams that allow users to track changes in data sets. An online demonstration of CKAN 2.0 is available at demo.ckan.org and installation instructions are available for Ubuntu and for building the software from source.