As you would expect of the holiday season, not a lot was happening at Jakarta other than some discussion, and the usual steady progress in a number of projects. This issue has been delayed somewhat due to commitments to my real work, but the next issue will hopefully be a little more feature rich and prompt as plenty seems to be happening already!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
" Ideas, suggestions, and comments on the overall Jakarta project "
Editor: Rob Oxspring
" If continuous integration is a good thing on a small project, why not apply it recursively and include all dependencies for which access to source is provided " This has been the reasoning behind Gump  and since so many Jakarta folk agreed  it was decided to promote Gump from within Alexandria to be a first class Jakarta subproject. The tool has been used to build all the latest versions of the Jakarta code for a long time now, and does a great job of keeping the developers on their toes and helps maintain a high level of interoperability between sub projects.
For those that like Wikis, the turbine team talked us into starting up our very own. As usual there was plenty of discussion about the pros and cons, and plenty about the implementation [3,4] but Andy Oliver decided to get the ball rolling with a simple system with minimal administration needs .
Should Apache move into the world of C#? Does the JCP do Java any favours? These are the general themes of this months big thread and since both topics repeatedly come up at Jakarta, it will come as no surprise to learn that opinions are mixed and conclusions are some time off. Still, its always fun guessing which way to jump! [6,7]
" Creating and maintaining reusable Java components "
Editor: Robert Burrell Donkin
Work focussed on bug fixes in preparations for the long overdue 1.6 release. This may have happened (at last :) before this newsletter hits the stands.
Editor: Martin van den Bemt
We are preparing for a first alpha release of betwixt. Currently projects depend on the CVS HEAD version, which needs to change, so we can refactor and add the things on our todo list (see http://jakarta.apache.org/commons/betwixt/todo.html for the list). Currently updating the last issues that need to be addressed and investigation of a possible recursion bug that was reported (see http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=jakarta-commons-dev&m=104262475828802&w=2).
The branch BETWIXT_1_0_ALPHA_1_RELEASE_BRANCH has been created for the release, to allow new development in HEAD.
Robert Burrell Donkin will be the release manager.
Editor: Robert Burrell Donkin
This is probably the most active and exciting commons project at the moment. Jelly is bit hard to describe - it's a tool for turning XML into executable code. Read more on the website http://jakarta.apache.org/commons/sandbox/jelly/.
Don't be fooled by the fact that the website says that jelly is still in the sandbox - jelly was promoted to the commons proper in December: http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=jakarta-commons-dev&m=103918404407914&w=2
Editor: Henri Yandell
Jakarta Commons Validator 1.0.1 was released. A bugfix release, the release notes are available at: http://jakarta.apache.org/builds/jakarta-commons/release/commons-validator/v1.0.1/RELEASE_NOTES.txt
" James, a 100% pure Java Mail and News server, and Mailet mail application plat form "
Editor: Danny Angus
Over the Holidays the James team quietly released v2.1 of James, see details at http://james.apache.org. Since then we've been busy planning the next release of James, most of our plans are on the WIKI http://wiki.apache.org/old?JamesDevelopmentPages.
There's also going to be a revision and new version of the Mailet API aimed at de-coupling more complex Mailet functionality from the server.
The other big news is that a vote was passed to propose James become a top-level Apache project. Why? see: http://mail-archives.apache.org/eyebrowse/ReadMsg?listNameemail@example.com&msgId=523569
" A high-performance, full-featured text search engine "
Editor: Otis Gospodnetic
Doug Cutting added Snowball Stemmers to Lucene Sandbox Repository. Snowball is a small string processing language designed for creating stemming algorithms for use in Information Retrieval. Snowball Stemmers for Lucene project provides pre-compiled version of the Snowball stemmers together with classes integrating them with the Lucene search engine.
Previously Lucene supported only English, German, and Russian. Lucene users can now make use of the code provided by this new project and gain support for the following languages:
" APIs for manipulating various file formats based upon Microsoft's OLE 2 Compound Document format "
Editor: Glen Stampoultzis