After a break for a month the newsletter is back. Over the last two months there has been lots of organisational discussion. After announcing the Japanese translation project last time round, a similar project in Korean has come to light - a section below has been devoted to bringing you up to speed on progress. The lucene guys have been making the usual steady progress mixing on both bugs and features while the Struts team been introducing future plans and new members.
As always, I want to thank those who contributed and hope that you enjoy the read. If you would like to comment further on any of the highlighted discussions then please do so on the appropriate list, if you want to comment on the newsletter itself then please point your comments to email@example.com.
"Ideas, suggestions, and comments on the overall Jakarta project"
Editor: Rob Oxspring
Jean-Frederic Clere was looking for a way to identify the version of the current JVM. After questioning the reliability of various options the conclusion turned out to be "It really depends on what you're trying to discover" .
Vincent Massol was wondering just who his fellow apache committers were and the results of his survey sparked a light hearted debate about what we'd learned .
Does apache want another web application framework? Howard Ship has put Tapestry  on the table and sparked off a long discussion. Can we have too many? Is it different enough? Is code more important than community? all angles are covered .
Is jakarta too big? Should project such as tomcat, ant and others be top level projects? All these things are under discussion along with setting up a dedicated incubator project at apache. This is just the tip of the iceberg the apache community has been discussing a big reorganisation [5, 6].
Dominic Gagne asked a slightly off topic question about the difference between Struts and Turbine and sparked off a long and light hearted discussion about various templating problems and solutions .
"The Avalon project is an effort to create, design, develop and maintain a common framework and set of components for applications written using the Java language"
Editor: Leo Simons
Things have been so active, I can only provide a small sampling of what's been going on :)
Like many projects at apache, avalon has been busy discussing how to fit into the new structure that is currently in the works. Being one of the projects that has suffered most from 'scope creep', there is a lot to think about [1,2,3]. With avalon committers on the Incubator and Commons PMCs, there's definately a promising perspective.
There have also been quite a few bug fixes and enhancements in various places (like Avalon Phoenix now providing good support for using log4j  and allowing customizable classloader trees ). There's been work integrating catalina and jo!  with phoenix.
"creating and maintaining reusable Java components"
Editor: Henri Yandell
October has seen many new releases from the Jakarta Commons project:
Commons Lang 1.0 was released on October 4th, a set of very generic components for use in any Java project .
Commons Collections 2.1 was released on the 21st of October. Buffers and Decorators were added, along with IteratorUtils and ComparatorUtils .
Commons BeanUtils 1.5 was released two days later. All bugs in Bugzilla were cleared out and a BeanComparator was added .
Commons Validator had its first release, at 1.0, on the first of November. Technically not October news, but we're so excited we don't care. Validator comes out of the Struts project and is designed to make validating fields of data easier .
The Lang project was the subject of an article at Builder .
There is much talk over a new Clazz project, hiding away in the Commons-Sandbox. Stephen Colebourne and Dmitri Plotnikov have been leading a set of long threads on this. Aspects of this may see the BeanUtils project transferring some of its low-level code over to Lang to assist in Java Reflection.
The Lang project will be consuming some aspects of the Patterns [located in the sandbox] project's classes.
The FileUpload project has moved from the sandbox to the main Commons repository. So expect a release to sneak onto the horizon in the next few months here.
October was also home to a lot of talk on a new Apache-level project known as the Apache-Commons. Inspired by you know who, it seeks to provide reusable components with a level of language agnosticism. Figuring out how the old Jakarta Commons works with the new Apache Commons will probably take up time over the next half a year.
"Jakarta Site in Korean"
Editor: Jaechun Noh
Java developers in Korea have more interests in jakarta project than all the time. But many of them have trouble directly reading original English site. Most problems we are encounterd during development using jakarta projects can be solved only if we search for site manuals. We want many people directly searching informations by their convenient languages.
Currently about 35 people participate in the project, and Hangul translation of 13 subprojects is in progress. Tomcat, Struts, Ant Among those have many volunteers more than three since interests in those subprojects are higher than any others in Korea. At the end of this year, we plan to finish all documents in Tomcat 4.X, Struts 1.0.2, POI, JMeter, Ant etc. We are all working with pure purpose without any support from commercial corporation and without any reward.
"allows developers to control which log statements are output with arbitrary granularity"
Editor: Ceki Gülcü
The main branch of the CVS repository is now in quasi-sync with the 1.2 branch . Work on log4j version 1.3 has begun in earnest.
The committers have voted to require JDK 1.2 and drop support for JDK 1.1 .
The DOMConfigurator is now able to parse configuration files that contains component specific elements . This significantly improves on existing capabilities. Many thanks to James Strachan for enhacing jelly to deal with dynamic properties . The idea to use jelly in log4j has been shelved for the moment .
Chris Nokes  has proposed significant architectural changes to improve memory usage.
"a high-performance, full-featured text search engine"
Editor: Otis Gospodnetic
The biggest change to Lucene since Auguest was the addition of a mechanism that allows Document and Field boosting . This change allows one to give additional boost to certain documents and/or fields, which results in those documents getting a higher ranking when they match a query.
A new method, setPositionIncrement() in Token class was added. This permits, for the purpose of phrase searching, placing multiple terms in a single position. This is useful with stemmers that produce multiple possible stems for a word. This also permits the introduction of gaps between terms, so that terms which are adjacent in a token stream will not be matched by and exact phrase query. This makes it possible, e.g., to build an analyzer where phrases are not matched over stop words which have been removed. Finally, repeating a token with an increment of zero can also be used to boost scores of matches on that token.
Boris Okner  made a big contribution with his Russian Analyzer.
There was some smaller bug fixes, new classes (QueryFilter), IndexWriter class got getAnalyzer() method, etc.
"APIs for manipulating various file formats based upon Microsoft's OLE 2 Compound Document format"
Editor: Andrew C Oliver
POI put out a new development release that includes Macro support
Shawn Laubach was voted a committer
There was renewed interest in HDF our word port and several new folks expressed an interest in volunteering
Andy discovered the default encoding on Redhat 8 is now UTF-8 and not 8859-1, hence finally we have a machine to test POI with a different default encoding and can fix that bug.
The Struts team is proud to welcome 4 new Committers this month, David Karr, Eddie Bush, David Graham, and James Mitchell .
Everyone is working steadily toward the release of Struts 1.1 beta 3. To help keep everyone on track, the team added a Development Roadmap .
There are a number of "nice to haves" that won't make Struts 1.1 which are now slated for Struts 1.2. Farther down the road, Struts 2.0 will rely upon the new standards, like JavaServer Faces and JSTL.
The platform for Struts 1.1 will remain Servlet 2.2 and JSP 1.1. However, a Struts JSTL taglib is available in the nightly build contrib directory and will be released with Struts 1.1 as a separate download.
Solid Struts support for the other new standard, Struts JavaServer Faces, is under development, but cannot be released quite yet .
Meanwhile, the Struts User list will continue to enjoy its "casual Friday" policy. Off-topic messages are tolerated on Fridays so long as the message is prefixed with the token [FRIDAY]. Posting [FRIDAY] articles on any other weekday is strongly discouraged.