Linux Product Insider: "FIRST LEGO League", the book

This "Linux Product Insider" features the book FIRST LEGO League, iStor Networks' integraSuite/MC Management Center, WaveMaker's Visual Ajax Studio 4.0, Perforce 2008.1 SCM System and FST's FancyPants SDK.

Here's what's new and noteworthy this week in Linux and open source:

James Floyd Kelly and Jonathan Daudelin's FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide (No Starch)

Leave it to the wonderfully obsessed folks at No Starch Press to release this new book: First Lego League: The Unofficial Guide. FIRST LEGO League is an international program for kids aged 9 to 14 (yes, your KIDS, not you) that combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program and research presentation with a sports-like atmosphere, and the book is an all-in-one guide to taking part. First Lego League covers topics like team formation and organization, robot building and programming, and the basics of getting involved. The book's aim is to make its readers better competitors, builders, designers, and team members.

iStor Networks' integraSuite/MC Management Center

New in the storage department is iStor Networks' integraSuite/MC Management Center management interface for "smart and simple setup, storage provisioning and allocation." Because the interface requires no storage expertise, the network administrator is freed up to focus on user needs. iStor says that its storage virtualization technology eliminates the requirement for managing individual RAID groups and their LUN configurations. Instead, they say that integraSuite presents a pool of storage that is easily carved up into individual customized volumes, dramatically reducing administrative, support, and other operational costs. They further claim that operational costs influence total cost of ownership more significantly than acquisition costs, which can be reduced by easing the management and administration of storage, and by sharing storage and increasing its utilization – two of integraSuite's features.

WaveMaker's Visual Ajax Studio 4.0

As the Ajax wave continues to break, one its best-known surfers, WaveMaker, offers new Ajax-related tools, such as Visual Ajax Studio 4.0. The product is an open source development tool that "makes it easy to build visually stunning Web applications." The company claims that "with just 15 mouse clicks and zero coding, a developer can build and deploy a sleek, Web-based application". The new 4.0 release offers faster development time, better-quality Web applications, the company's own "Live Layout data display", enhanced drag-and-drop capabilities and IDE quality editing that exposes the source code and offers syntax highlighting. Visual Ajax Studio 4.0 supports Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 and Windows XP and Vista.

Perforce 2008.1 SCM System

Perforce 2008.1 is the latest release of Perforce Software's software configuration management system (SCM), which versions and and manages source code and all digital assets. The 2008.1 release extends visual differencing functionality to images, enabling enterprise developers and engineers to manage all content with one SCM solution. Image differencing supports most common image files, including TIFF, JPG and GIF, and can be extended to support other image formats through the Qt API. Another new feature is improved remote access, which is accomplished bia the Perforce Proxy, a self-maintaining proxy server that offloads file decompression to the client.

FST's FancyPants SDK Adds Atom Processor and MID-device Support

The mission of FST's FancyPants SDK is to create user interfaces for embedded devices, with the new release adding support for the Intel Atom processor Z5xx series and Moblin-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). FST announced that the FancyPants SDK provides a powerful and easy to use API, with an embedded runtime optimized for available hardware, including graphics acceleration and native CODECs, with live demo videos and a fully functional evaluation kit." Target markets also inclde smart phones, portable media players, digital picture frames, TV set-top boxes, in-car telematics/infotainment, kiosks, building automation systems and medical devices. The plug-in style architecture enables easy integration of hardware, CODECs, and embedded browsers; the theming capability allows for branding and

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