Softpanorama Vol. 10, No. 1 (0A0). Jan-March, 1998. Complied by Nikolai Bezroukov

Open Source Software Chronicle







Not so open Desktop ;-)





Dr. Dobb's Journal February 1998 A Conversation with Larry Wall The creator of Perl talks about language design and Perl. By Eugene Eric Kim

Open Source Operating Systems

Linux market share grows faster than NT 

Red Hat's "Sizing the Linux Market" article is compiled by Red Hat Software's President, Robert Young is based on data culled from magazine surveys by magazines such as Dr. Dobbs and UNIX Review, independent analyst reports such as Datapro's "1997 International User Ratings Survey of UNIX and NT," and Red Hat's own user data.

From Red Hat Software's FTP site alone, there were 100,000 copies of Linux downloaded in the last 12 months. According to the report, Linux use has grown from 1,500,000 million machines to 7,500,000 between 1995 and March of 1998. By the study estimates within a margin of error of +/-25%, that there are between 4,500,000 and 10,500,000 active Linux users.

The study is available from:


Java 1.2 beta 3 is available

The JavaTM Development Kit 1.2 brings new functionality to areas including JavaTM 2D, accessibility, drag and drop, application services, Java extensions framework, collections, input methods, version identification, reference objects, Java interface definition language (IDL), Java Virtual Machine Debugger Interface (JVMDI), Java servlets, and Javadoc doclets.

Major enhancements have been added to JavaBeansTM components, Java Security, Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI), object serialization, Java Sound, Java Database Connectivity (JDBCTM), reflection, Java ARchive (JAR), and Java Native Interface (JNI). Performance enhancements include: SolarisTM native thread support, memory compression for loaded classes, faster memory allocation and garbage collection, monitor speedups, and native library JNI port.

Beta 3 is available from the Developer Connection. Membership in the JavaSoft Developer Connection requires registration, but currently is free.

No so open Desktop :-)

Microsoft distributes a free copies of Microsoft Outlook 98

It's pretty decent PIM, probably the best available as freeware. It is like getting discount on your Windows 95 or Windows NT.

Freeware for Windows 95

Windows 95... the complexity of UNIX without  its power ;-).

ZDNet Software Library recently published the list of best free software. Some entries deserve attention of Win95 users. Although Microsoft announced that Windows 98 will be the last upgrade of windows and even priced in higher than Win95 to make users more comfortable with the idea of getting NT it still does a lot of development for Windows 95, including some freeware development although it is difficult to associate Microsoft and freeware ;-). Anyway,  here is some freeware from Microsoft and other sources: 

Source Viewer -- Shareware C/C++ source code analyzer

Source Viewer (SV) is a tool that allows you to analyze C & C++ source code: jump to tags, build and browse C++ class hierarchies, and much more. Better performance is achieved if you 'glue' SV to the text editor you use. Presently there are packages for Multi-Edit, BC++ IDE v 3.1, Brief, Vi, and Emacs. BC++ IDE 4.* is on the way. Source Viewer is shareware. Available for WinDOS and Unix. 

XCode - Freeware MS DOS-based Cyrillic codepage converter with automatic recognition of codepage:

OFM News

Version 3.5 of Windows Commander

Both 16 bit and 32 bit versions available from  Built-in FTP client. Direct access to Network Neighborhood. Integrated ZIP-compatible packer, supports long filenames. supports long filenames. Encode/Decode files in UUE, XXE and MIME format. Split/Combine big files. Archives are handled like subdirectories. You can easily copy files to and from archives. The appropriate archiving program is automatically called. pkzip, arj, lha, rar and uc2 are all supported. Internal unpackers for ZIP, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ and CAB formats. Supports Drag & Drop with the mouse. Start-menu (User-defined commands) to place your frequently used DOS or Windows programs into a drop-down menu. The actual directory and/or the file under the cursor can be delivered to the application. Enhanced search function with full text search in any files across multiple drives. Built in file viewer (F3) to view files hex, binary or text format, using either the ASCII- (DOS) or the ANSI- (Windows) character set. The line width and font size can now be changed. Can view files inside archives. Configurable button bar to start external programs or internal menu commands. Configurable main menu.


Final version of FAR is now available

Version FAR 1.52 is a very impressive OFM 32 bit implementation. It is a very clean implementation with its own "face" and an excellent compatibility with OFM doctrine. Currently it can be considered as a leader among the 32-bit classic OFM implementations.

See the paper on OFM for additional details.



Older Programmers See a Hiring Firewall

Old Computer Programmers never die, they just byte the dust
(old joke)

Unemployment among computer scientists and programmers has dipped below 2%. But there is something more than a simple shortage of computer experts. Critics say other factors behind high-tech's hiring crunch include:

The problem isn't a scarcity of candidates. Yahoo, which adds several technical people a month, gets hundreds of resumes a week. Cisco Systems, with 700 job openings worldwide, gets 2,500 resumes a week. Managers say their problem is finding qualified candidates people with cutting-edge skills in the latest technology.

``We get thousands of resumes a week, and most of the people are just not qualified,'' said Kenneth Alvares, vice president for human resources at Sun Microsystems. ``I'd say just 2 percent of the jobs we fill are filled from resumes. Most of the jobs in our company are filled by referrals from other employees.''

Companies say they can't take time to train prospective employees because technology moves too fast. However, critics say that companies are sometimes too selective.

Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis, slams the computer
industry for refusing to hire older programmers who just need to add a new skill or two. Other critics say the industry has a cultural bias against older workers which in the young atmosphere of Silicon Valley can mean anyone over 40.

Of course, some older people do land high-tech jobs, and their experience provides lessons to others who might want to try.  I'm afraid too often people my age want to get by on skills they learned 15 years ago. That doesn't work. You have to keep the skills updated.

Based on the story published in NYT Computernewsdaily March 10, 1998

In Formation -- the first magazine that criticizes "techno-utopia" will be published in two months

The editor is chief is David Temkin -- a software engineering manager for @Home California firm specializing in Web access via cable television.  "I like my job,'' says Temkin, "but I have a love/hate relationship about where all this
technology is heading.''  For writers, Temkin recruited 23 high-tech insiders who share his ambivalence toward
technology. They include refugees from Starwave, CNet, Apple and Microsoft.

Based on CNET   story

Copyright 1998, Nikolai Bezroukov. Standard disclaimer applies. As long as this copyright notice is preserved, and any changes are clearly marked as such, the author gives his consent to republish and mirror this text.