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Linux Developers Corner: The Ximian Build System available via Novell Forge

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Richard Smith

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Posted: 31 Mar 2004

The Ximian Build System available via Novell Forge

The Ximian build system for building and packaging software natively for a variety of platforms and packaging systems, including RPM (Red Hat, etc.), Deb (Debian), and SD (HP-UX) is now available via a GNU General Public License (GPL).

Some of the features of the build system are:

  • Support for producing RPM, Deb, and SD (HP-UX) packages.
  • A testing/package verification framework.
  • Red Carpet integration.
  • Command-line and Web interfaces.
  • Support for remote build scheduling via XML-RPC.
  • Reproducible build environments (chroot jails).
  • Flexible XML package metadata description.

The Ximian Build System (XBS) manages the build process from pulling the source code to deliver through the Red Carpet integration.

XBS can get the source code for its build process from either CVS or its own source repository. Through the use of jails, independent build environments, XBS can build the packages for many distributions on a single Linux-based system.

XBS is built of several separate perl modules that can be extended if needed to add functionality if needed.

These are just the highlights of what XBS can do for you. Check out the Novell Forge project page at

Nsure Identity Manager (DirXML) Driver Kit for Linux

One of the challenges that developers must deal with often is gathering data from a variety of sources and managing the use of the that data. Frequently this data is stored in vastly different data stores and might even be housed on a variety of hosts.

The Nsure Identity Manager Driver Kit for Linux (formerly known as DirXML) can help solve these problems. Using Novell eDirectory as central system, developers can build drivers that are used to gather this data, regardless of the data store and consolidate it into a single repository. Regardless of whether the original datasource has programming interfaces, events or just maintains a log of changes to the data, Nsure Identity Manager drivers can be built to harvest the data.

Drivers can be developed in either C++ or Java and to be effective at driver development you must understand XML, XSL and XDS. These are particularly important if the datasource cannot directly export data in XML format. In this case the developer must manage the translation of the data into XDS (the eDirectory XML format) for sending to the DirXML engine and the translation back to the native format of the datasource if data is to be synchronized back to the source.

For more information on the Nsure Identity Manager Driver Kit for Linux go to the Novell Forge project page at

Mono Happenings

Several bits of news from the Mono community recently include the release of Mono 0.30.0 (and 0.30.1), a performance optimization document and a meeting to be held in March for anyone interested in Mono.

Mono 0.30.x Releases
These release focused mainly on bug fixes and improvements in performance in a number of areas including a 30% improvement in compile speeds, fixes to make the C# compiler fast and more consistent and improvements in security features. You can checkout the release notes for the releases at and

Mono Performance Optimization document
Miguel de Icaza ( and Ben Maurer ( have published a document to help Mono users improve the performance of the C# compiler that is part of the Mono distribution.

This document illustrates the use of the Mono profiler. Tips on memory management and other hints to make your Mono code more effective.
You can read the entire document at

Desktop Integration Bounty Hunt
Novell and the GNOME Foundation have organized a software development bounty hunt, awarding prizes to individuals or teams who solve selected desktop software problems. The contest is intended to improve integration of disparate pieces of the desktop, and to encourage new programmers to get involved in the GNOME project. Learn more at

Some of the bounties have already been collected, but there are still proenty left for the taking. With bounty categories ranging from to Instant Messaging, there's sure to be a subject that interests you that might earn you some extra money.

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