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By: Bob Arnson

Abstract: Daily news summary for 27 October 1999. By Bob Arnson.

Cooking up some Java

Looking for a recipe for using JavaScript to enhance Web page design and user interactivity? You could try thumbing through the pages of the JavaScript Application Cookbook (O'Reilly & Associates 1999, ISBN 1-56592-577-7) by Jerry Bradenbaugh. The recently published book follows in the footsteps of the best-selling Perl Cookbook, says O'Reilly.

Many JavaScript books on the market today are reference works that focus on JavaScript syntax. Some of the more advanced books provide a few basic and intermediate JavaScript applications, but the JavaScript Application Cookbook goes further, says O'Reilly, by providing larger, ready-to-use applications that address common Web site needs. Users of the book will follow a cookbook format for developing a JavaScript strategy to meet their varied applications requirements, according to the publisher. The book also includes features like a client-side search engine, on-line test administration, and cookies-based user profiles.

The JavaScript Application Cookbook is priced at US$34.95 and can be ordered through O'Reilly's Web site or by calling 800-998-9938. Chapter 1 of the book, "The Client-Side Search Engine," is available free on the Web.

Check out the engine

HakanSoft offers a software component that finds string expressions and evaluates them at run-time, providing users with more flexibility: the HakanSoft Formula Engine. Among the engine's features are a set of numerical, Boolean, and other operators; advanced array handling; and user-defined, dynamic variables and function calls, says its maker. According to HakanSoft, its Formula Engine also handles number, string, logical, and array types in expressions; compiles expressions quickly; and allows re-execution of expressions once compilation is complete.

The Java version of Formula Engine requires Java 1.1 or greater and any Java development tool. The ActiveX version runs on Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0 using any ActiveX-compatible development environment, including Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0.

An evaluation version of the product can be downloaded and purchased online. Pricing is US$200 for either version and US$995 for the source code for either version.

Chip off the old hat

The power of open source software in the demanding Internet server environment has led Intel Corp. to enter into an agreement with Red Hat Inc. to bundle Red Hat Linux into its newly created Intel Global ISP Program.

Commenting on this joint venture, Tim Buckley, senior vice president and COO of Red Hat states, "The unique demands of ISPs and other enterprise server environments are well addressed by the stability and power of open source and the Red Hat Linux operating system. Intel's rapidly growing ISP program and server building blocks, coupled with Red Hat's open source and open source services expertise, makes this a promising collaboration for both companies."

And agreeing with the open source momentum in the Internet server world, Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel's communications and Internet server division states, "A key part of our ISP channel program is to provide a full range of products and services and thus offer a large menu of choices for ISPs and their business customers. This Red Hat solution gives [Intel] another strong option for these rapidly growing providers."

Meeting mom and pop's requirements

Benefiting from a requirements management tool to facilitate project execution is no longer an expensive option for the low-end user. Quality Systems & Software Inc. has just released a Microsoft Word-based solution for this non-traditional market segment. QSSrequireit 1.1, is an entry-level, single-user requirements management tool designed for managers and support staff who are new to the process of requirements management. It is a simple, fully Word-based solution for capturing, tracking, and managing requirements information. 

QSSrequireit 1.1's strong point is its ease of use. There is no need to manage separate database applications. Identifying key characteristics of requirement and link-related requirements is easy. With hyperlinking built into report generation, and custom templates to support the complete software development cycle, new users can be up and running almost immediately.

For users of DOORS, the flagship requirements management solution from Quality Systems & Software, QSSrequireit 1.1 can provide the ideal tool for initial requirements capture.

A free trial copy is available at www.qssrequireit.com. Single user licenses cost US$199 each.

Out with the old...in with the tech

Dow Jones & Co. announced Tuesday that it's giving four low-tech companies the boot in favor of some higher-tech replacements -- and Home Depot Inc.

Starting next Monday, Chevron, Goodyear Tire, Union Carbide, and Sears Roebuck will no longer be included in the Dow Jones Industrial average, according to the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, whose editors enacted the change. Sears has been in the Dow for 75 of the index's 103 years, since 1924; Union Carbide has been in for 71 years.

Replacing these industrial powerhouses of old will be two of the technology leaders of today -- Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. -- along with SBC Communications Inc. and home improvement retailer Home Depot. As of Monday, Home Depot is up 20 percent in the Dow industrials for the year, Microsoft is up 33 percent, Intel is up 24 percent, and SBC is down 17 percent.

The move, analysts say, points to the transformation of the U.S. economy from the Rust Belt into the Digital Age. Journal managing editor Paul Steiger said that the changes are meant to make the Dow "more representative of the evolving US economy."


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