November 3, 2001

This week in DotGNU

Author: JT Smith

Coverage of the Mercury programming language, GNU Common C++, ecommerce Web services, and more in the latest edition of This week in DotGNU.
This week in DotGNU - no 3 (November 2, 2001)
See for general background information.

"Mercury" programming language
Fergus Henderson from the University of Melbourne is working
on porting UM's "Mercury" programming language so that it can
compile using the development tools of DotGNU Portable.NET .
Mercury has some unique requirements when it comes to
linking, and Microsoft's linker doesn't do a very good job
of handling those requirements.  It will be a real coup for us
if we can get Mercury working with our system, because it was
one of the non-C# languages that Microsoft paid to be ported
to .NET as part of their CLR development project.

GNU Common C++
DotGNU Steering Committee chairman David Sugar has focused for a week on 
GNU Common C++, which is at the core of the DotGNU Secure Execution
Environment (SEE).  GNU Common C++ is a C++ framework offering
portable support for threading, sockets, file access, daemons,
persistence, serial I/O, XML parsing, and system services.  A lot of
recent effort has gone into making sure Common C++ 1.9.0 builds
native clean on win32, as well as improvements in GNU and posix support in
general.  Among other reasons, this was deemed strategically necessary to
assure that the SEE daemon will compile native and be available on all

Definition of "webservices"
The term "webservices" is often used without precise definition, and
as a result it is not always understood in the same way.  The
following definition has been proposed on the DotGNU developers list:

  "Webservices" are any service that are offered on the web
  (regardless of what technology is used to provide them).

To make this precise, we could add

1. With "service" we mean not only that some functionality is
   provided, but that there should also be some description of
   this functionality, namely how the service should be used and
   what it provides.

2. With saying that the service is "offered on the web" we mean
   that it's offered on the internet via standard protocols,
   i.e. protocols that are open, widely published, and freely
   available for anyone to implement.

Cashbox - Ecommerce webservice application
David Nicol, who set up in 1996, will GPL a
catalog/order customer-account system, called "cashbox."
If you would like to help with preparing the code for release
(it's written in Perl) please contact him at

Greetings, Norbert.

P.S. Translations of "This week in DotGNU" into other languages are
very welcome; please let me know about them.  Currently the only
language into which "This week in DotGNU" is translated is Polish, 

"This week in DotGNU" is Copyright (C) 2001 by Norbert Bollow.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire issue is
permitted in any medium or format, provided this notice is


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