||*-------- At Tonight's Meeting... ------*|| ||*-------- Bozeman Linux User Group Meeting ------*|| ||*-------- September 26, 2002 ------*|| ||*-------- ------*|| ||*-------- Ken Dyke, editor ------*|| ||*-------- ------*|| Howdy folks, and welcome to another edition of "At Tonight's Meeting..." ||*-------- At Tonight's Meeting... ------*|| ||*-------- by Sheri Hall ------*|| We would like to say "Thanks!" to all of our LUG members at tonights meeting.... Ryan Gantt, Mike Stone, Kyle Cunningham, Dan Wilson, Sheri Hall and Ken Dyke. A big thanks to our commuters, Joe Haynes from Helena, Charlie French from Big Timber, and Warren Sanders from the Yellowstone Valley LUG in Billings. Thanks for joining in! ||*-------- The Meeting... ------*|| Ken Dyke got the meeting underway. He did not have much in the way of news. For the presentation there was an 8 page hand out and a CD-R. He covered some of the history behind LinuxFromScratch and described the community that has grown up around it. He placed emphasis on the need to read all the early chapters as they have important pieces of information that help avoid errors during and at the end of the build process. He explained the build partition and the fact that this partition will in the end be the new root partition. While the book may do something one way there is often a pointer to a hint if the reader would like to try another. One of the book's reasons for being is to put reader in control of how their operating system is put together. Configuring the kernel is a presentation all on its own. /sbin/lilo and then shutdown -r now Then either celebrate or go back and figure out what was done wrong. When asked about the stability of LinuxFromScratch systems Ken replied, "469 days of uptime. Unfortunately, the hard drives are running out of room. So, I have some drives on order and already have more RAM. It won't be too much longer before it comes down". ||*------ Tool Tip -------*|| ||*------ by Ken Dyke -------*|| I am not very fond of PDF files. (For more on my views of PDF see the "Adobe PDF file format" item (http://www.elegantinnovations.org/items/pdf-file-format.html) on my soapbox.) There are several command line tools that come with the Xpdf package. The one I like is pdftotext. For the type of material I am interested in this is a great tool. I can turn foo.pdf into foo.txt and then use less/vim to read and comment. Then later I can use various search tools on these files when I am looking for that 'something I read the other day/week/month/year. ||*------ PHP News -------*|| ||*------ by Ryan Gantt -------*|| PHP 4.2.3 is out! Woo-Hoo. The biggest, most noticable changes are: The resolution of many COM issues within PHP and OOPHP. They also fixed domxml_xslt_process() and domxml_get_element_by_id() and several other issues in DOMXML. 4.2.3 is a release following a pretty weird 4.2.2. All 422 did was fix a security issue, but nothing else. NukeNews - PHPNuke has released their 6.0 app. Oh, don't worry, the code is just as bad as before. If you are looking for burly-type speed, go with PostNuke. I am using PHPNuke on a site, and there are some things that I see wrong with it, day by day. First off, there is no way to "degrade" from a higher version to lower, without manually changing all the MySQL or Postgres SQL tables that they altered in the new version. I guess you could have empty fields, but that would be to no avail. Why degrade? To get a better forum and some better options. Also, their forums are awful. I'm not sure who let Splatt get in on 5.5+, but they need to have a serious talking to. PhpBB was good, and they took it out. Tsk tsk. Third, The learning curve is pretty steep. If you already have an idea what you want, and know how the code is going to work through what you are doing, then it won't be so bad, otherwise it could be a nightmare. And there are a lot of language files... There is one in almost every single directory. This takes up a lot of space. Why doesn't he just put them all in one directory in the root? Still not sure. Pear (framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components) has had quite a week, also. They've seen 5 stable releases and a beta, which is very good. Stable * HTTP_Request - Provides an easy way to perform HTTP requests, supports GET/POST/HEAD/TRACE/PUT/DELETE, Basic authentication, Proxy, Proxy Authentication etc. * Log - The Log framework provides an abstracted logging system. It supports logging to console, file, syslog, SQL, mail, and mcal targets. It also provides a subject - observer mechanism. * Net_DNS - Resolver library used to communicate with a DNS server. * Var_Dump - provides a simple way to dump a variable's content in a nicer way than a classic var_dump(). * XML_Transformer - with the XML/Transformer class one can easily bind PHP functionality to XML tags, thus transforming the input XML tree into an output XML tree without the need for XSLT. Beta * Mail_Queue - Class for putting mails in queue and send them later in background. Pear also has the classes needed to make a database abstraction layer. This is great, unless you don't know the location of pear or php on your server. Then trouble brews. ||*------ Doghouse -------*|| No one here except the usual suspects. ||*----- Book Reviews ------*|| Subject: Book Review - Learning Java 2nd Edition From: Joe Haynes
To: Ken Dyke Content-Type: text/plain X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.0.7 Date: 25 Sep 2002 20:35:13 -0600 Learning Java by Patrick Niemeyer and Jonathan Knudsen, Second Edition I've recently started a project that called for parts to be developed in Java. Having no experience in Java, I decided to start by reading through several introductory books. Most of these were pretty straightforward. They started describing the simple semantics and object oriented structure of the language. But, as I read on, it seemed to take forever for the books to teach anything useful. The first chapters covered the creation of a simple web browser based "apps" but didn't cover creating a full stand-alone application. In other words, I longed for a deeper explanation and a book that taught Java without holding my hand or insulting my intelligence with feeble applications. Luckily, "Learning Java" is a book that takes a more direct approach. The first chapter includes the usual history of java along with a quick dose of java's philosophy. But the second chapter begins by introducing almost every large component that can be used in a Java application. The example programs include swing components, graphics objects (used for rendering graphics), threading and catching exceptions (using Java's internal mechanisms for recovering from run-time errors). Chapter two answers the question, what's the best way to start creating an application? How do I compile my first program? And, how do I start to make use of Java's object orientation by adding classes? In a short span, the authors provide the answers to these questions with examples. Even better, these examples are explained so that the user understands a concept before being saddled with a label (I found this approach to be helpful when learning about the facets of object oriented programming). After the first two chapters, the books follows a path of learning laid out in the examples of chapter two. The basics of the language are followed by a broader explanation of working with objects and classes. The rest of the book covers broader subjects such as text processing, network programming, web based applications, screen layout components, graphics programming, javabeans, web applets, and XML (new to this edition). In general, I found these chapters be well written and a great resource for tackling problems within my own project. This book isn't for a user just learing how to program. Users should have at least some background in programming like C or PERL to understand the authors comparisons between Java and other languages (which I found to be helpful even though I do not have experience with C). The most enjoyable aspect of this book is that it doesn't follow a cookie-cutter approach to teaching Java. Explanations of complicated subjects are spread throughout instead of being crammed into dedicated chapters. Best of all, the authors demonstrated some of Java's advanced utilities while teaching the fundamentals of the language. ||*----- Books Available for Review -----*|| Due to the great response/demand for this feature I have been working with publishers to increase the selection of books available. I have succeeded in establishing a couple of relationships for keeping book reviewers busy. The guidelines given to me by these publishers vary somewhat but the the following outline encompasses behavior that will avoid feelings of abuse and exploitation all around. Please read and follow these guidelines in ordering review copies of books. 1) Limit one book per month. 2) Publish a review before ordering another book. 3) When selecting a book for review choose one that has been published within the past year or so. 4) We are a Linux User Group. Please keep this in mind when selecting titles. (For example, Photoshop does not run on Linux so it would be inappropriate to ask for "Photoshop 7: The Complete Reference") 5) If there were a fifth item it would go here. We have not developed a guide for the review itself so until then you might give Slashdot's book review guide a look see: (slashdot.org/book.review.guidelines.shtml) Send reviews to Ken to be published in the next issue of "At Tonight's Meeting...". Please make the files ascii text only with lines wrapped at 76 characters (to fit an 80 character wide screen). The following books are available for review: www.osborne.com www.oreilly.com/catalog/prdindex.html The book from New Riders Press has already been spoken for. ||*----- EOF -----*|| -- I think, therefore, ken_i_m Chief Gadgeteer, Elegant Innovations "Doing my part to spread the Free and Open Software memes".
August 2002 :: "At Tonight's Meeting..." index page :: October 2002