Welcome back to the weekly Linux newsletter, your guide to what's new and interesting in the world of open source and open source development.
Your editor started the week (and triggered a deluge of responses) with What I Hate About Your Programming Language. Every programming language has a philosophy, stated or implied. That philosophy influences every facet of the language—including the syntax. It's time to stop arguing over syntax and start thinking more substantively about programming.
Karim Yaghmour, author of the new Building Embedded Linux Systems, argues that "Embedded Linux doesn't exist." Your editor didn't believe him either, until halfway through Embedded Linux: Semantics and Reality. It's a fine distinction to make, but if you're interested in running Linux on an embedded system, it may be worth your time to consider the issues Karim raises.
Garrett Rooney concludes his Subversion series with Using the Subversion Client API, Part 2. This time, learn how to discover the differences between your files and those in the repository, and how to update, commit, and revert changes.
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Dru Lavigne also concludes her series on DHCP with DHCP on a Multi-Segment Network. Learn how to dole out leases even on a complicated network with all sorts of routing rules, without buying a DHCP server for every segment.
Newcomer Bob Pendleton starts a new series on SDL, the cross-platform multimedia library, with Animation in SDL. Bob's first article demonstrates how to start using SDL as well as the basics of software animation. Future articles will explain hardware-accelerated and OpenGL animation.
This week's featured OSCON speaker is Justin Erenkrantz, speaking on Authentication in Apache HTTP Server 2.1 and Subversion, WebDAV, and Apache HTTP Server 2.0. He describes the commonalities by saying, "Through my involvement in the Apache HTTP Server Project, I was introduced to some of the developers for a project called Subversion. Subversion and httpd both use APR, so there was some cross-pollination between the projects. I've now contributed to Subversion for a little over a year."
It's exciting to see larger projects starting to produce reusable code for other projects. While there are a lot of good libraries available, popular, portable, and robust software such as Apache, Perl, and XFree86 have solved many of the problems that any new software will face. Why shouldn't Apache's memory management and error-handling scheme work for other projects? Why shouldn't Perl's regex library be available outside of Perl?
Maybe it's time to start sharing code at a higher level.
Don't forget that early-bird OSCON registration ends this Thursday, May 23! The more money you save on conference admission, the more money you have to spend at Powell's in downtown Portland.
Until next week,
What I Hate About Your Programming Language
Choosing a programming language is rarely ever as easy as making a list of features and choosing the best ones. Like programming, it can be messy and opinionated. Every language has its own philosophy, and whether that fits your own mind is often a matter of taste.
Embedded Linux: Semantics and Reality
"Embedded Linux doesn't exist." Quite a statement for author Karim Yaghmour to make, since he's just completed writing a book about the use of Linux in embedded systems--O'Reilly's recently released Building Embedded Linux Systems. To understand why he makes this statement, read Karim's article on the historical and contemporary uses of "embedded Linux." Along the way, he also tackles whether "embedded Linux" is a noun or an adjective.
C++ Memory Management: From Fear to Triumph
With modern memory-managed languages, is there any reason to program in C or C++ anymore? George Belotsky says yes. Even a brilliant memory-management scheme may not fit your particular application. In the first of three articles, George examines common memory errors in C++.
Changes in pf: More on NAT
OpenBSD's packet filter has really grown up. Since its introduction in OpenBSD 3.0, it has become an advanced tool for networking and security. In the second of four articles, Jacek Artymiak presents a sample NAT and DMZ ruleset that is easily customized.
Secure Programming Techniques, Part 4
In this fourth and final excerpt from Chapter 16 ("Secure Programming Techniques") of Practical Unix & Internet Security, 3rd Edition, we offer tips on using passwords more securely, and on generating random numbers, both of which play important roles in maintaining computer security.
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