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DZone Daily Dose - 2009/12/8

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Good news for website owners and publishers!  More features were added recently to the free Google Analytics software.  Users can now put annotations on data points to elaborate on spikes or drops in traffic.  Custom variables can now be seen across all data in multiple reports, whereas before, you'd have to make a separate report for custom variables.  It's also easier to track data across multiple subdomains and mobile sites.  Google will also be making significant changes to its Analytics API, including advanced segmentation and new data metrics features.  

Red Hat Enterprise MRG 1.2 is finally ready to be released ten months after version 1.1.  The updated Messageing, Realtime, and Grid (MRG) Linux platform now supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.4.  Along with performance improvements, the "Realtime" of MRG now includes a rteval tool for detecting hardware latencies.  "Grid" adds support for KVM virtual machine scheduling.  

Artifex is suing Palm for using its high performance PDF rendering engine, muPDF.  Palm Pre uses the muPDF GPL code in its PDF viewer but hasn't licensed the entire application under GPL.  Artiflex says Palm must buy a commercial license for the whole application to distribute the software.  Miles Jones, the president of Artifex, had strong words for Palm: "Comply with the terms of the GPL, sign an OEM license agreement with Artifex, or do not distribute our software."

A preview version of Python 2.7 (alpha 1) is now available and focuses on back-porting features from Python 3.1.  You might remember that a moratorium was approved recently for Python 3 so that other technologies could catch up and the transition from 2 to 3 would be smoother.    Python 2.7 features a new io library written in C for higher performance.  The new version also includes an implementation of memoryview, new syntax for nested with statements, and format specifiers for printing large numbers.  This version is the last major edition before Python 2.x moves into a five year, "bug-fix only" mode.

"Java is Pass-by-Value, Darnit!" is a useful posting about Java's parameter passing and it's the top link in the past 24 hours.  The blog does a good job of explaining why Java is pass-by-value only.