||*--------           At Tonight's Meeting...                ------*|| 
||*--------       Bozeman Linux User Group Meeting           ------*|| 
||*--------               April 24, 2003                     ------*|| 
||*--------                                                  ------*|| 
||*--------             Ken Dyke, editor                     ------*||
||*--------                                                  ------*|| 

Howdy folks, and welcome to another edition of "At Tonight's Meeting..."

||*--------           At Tonight's Meeting...                ------*|| 
||*--------              by Ken Dyke                         ------*||

It seems the big meetings of January and February were an anomaly.  We 
had the usual regulars (give and take a few) and a couple of new faces. 
There were eight people in attendance.  Thanks for coming and making 
it a great meeting.

||*--------                The Meeting...                    ------*||

Ken had a couple of books to give away.  One from O'Reilly "Google 
Hacks" which looks very interesting (hopefully, we will see a book 
review on this one).  The other book was from Addison Wesley on IBM's 
DB2 for the Enterprise.

Ken had four sets of Red Hat 9 CD-R discs to give away.

Ryan Gantt presented "PHP and the Zend Engine: Past, Present and Future"
Ryan very quickly got into the nitty gritty details of Zend.  Where it 
is at now and where it is going.  This was a presentation geared to 
those with a passing familiarity with PHP and experience with the object
oriented programming model.  It was NOT a wimpy overview with no meat.
Thanks Ryan.

||*--------          The Meeting Next Month...                ------*||

Neal Ritcher of RightNow will be in to tell us about ht://dig.  I am 
not sure how technical Neal is going to get with this.  He is one of 
the developers so I am sure he can answer any questions one might have.

I have already received a pile of books which I will be giving away 
at 7 o'clock sharp (as usual).  "You want some?  Come get some!"

||*------                  Tool Tip                          -------*||
||*------                by Ken Dyke                         -------*|| 

ip
Kind of an unassuming name for a tool.  It is the main tool in a rather 
small but powerful package of networking tools.  Background and usage 
can be found at Linux Advanced Routing & Traffic Control
(http://lartc.org)

||*------                  PHP News                         -------*|| 
||*------                by Ryan Gantt                      -------*|| 

PHP News, May Day 2003!

....:::: !PEAR NEWS! ::::....

PEAR Meeting in Amsterdam
The good people working on the pear project are having a meeting on May
9th, 
so if you are
heading to Amsterdam during that time, stop in and give your $.02!

As of the release of PHP 4.3.2, The following PEAR packages are now
bundled 
with PHP:

PEAR
phpUnit - Unit testing module
XML_Parser - XML Parser if you don't like Expat
XML_RPC - News HTTP broadcasting
Archive_Tar - Tar'ing files
Console_Getop
DB-1.4b1 - Database abstraction layer
Mail
Net_SMTP
Net_Socket
Net_UserAgent_Detect
PEAR_Frontend_Web
HTML_Template_IT
Pager

The other modules should be self-explanatory.

----==== {PHP NEWS} ====----

PHP 4.3.2RC2 has been released.
This is the second release candidate and should have no critical 
problems/bugs.
Nevertheless, please download and test it as much as possible on
real-life
applications to uncover any remaining issues.

I'm not sure why they are


----------------

My PHP.net
--
The PHP website and mirrors sites now have a 'My PHP.net' page, which
allows 
you
to check what language settings you have, and enables you to set one
which
will override all the other detected parameters.

However, normally this is not needed, as we remember the language you
used 
last time.
Be sure to have cookies turned on for PHP.net to let this feature work!

~~~~~ Smarty News ~~~~

Smarty 2.5.0 Released
This is the official stable release. The backtic syntax that was
introduced 
in
2.5.0-RC1 changed slightly, and a few other minor adjustments have been
made 
since RC2.
See the ChangeLog for full details. Remember to clear out the compiled
and 
cached
files anytime you update Smarty. This can be done via "rm -rf", or use
the
clear_all_cache() and clear_compiled_tpl() functions. If you're using
PHPA,
restart Apache as well.

What is smarty? Smarty is a PHP driven template engine designed to do
one 
thing: Seperate
business logic from presentation logic. Not that anyone who has ever
written 
something major
would ever mess that up, but they attempt to provide a clean machine to
do 
it through.
Smarty is all about personal preference. My opinion always lies with 
portability...

||*------                  Doghouse                      -------*|| 

The MPAA has written some candidate legislation that adds from draconian
extensions to the DMCA and has been peddling it to the states.  It has
been 
introduce in a number of houses around the country and even passed in 
a couple of them.  This is some ugly stuff and is further evidence that
the MPAA has zero concern for civil rights that get in the way of their 
revenue stream and total control of their market sector.

||*-----                  Book Reviews                    ------*|| 

Title : Cocoon: Building XML Applications
Author : Matthew Langham and Carsten Ziegeler
Pages : 480
Publisher : New Riders
ISBN : 0-7357-1235-2
Reviewed by : Mike Stone

In the work that I do, I'm often required to deal with XML in a wide
variety of forms.  I have a vague understanding of what XML is and how
it acts, but now seemed like the best time to learn more about XML.
Enter Cocoon: Building XML Applications.

From the start of this book, I knew it wasn't what I had originally
been looking for.  Rather than let that bother me, I tried to look
at this as an opportunity to learn about something that I had little
to no experience with.  Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.
The authors droned on for 2 chapters about the history of the Internet,
and the machine web.  The history of the Internet was more of a history
of their own projects than a history of the Internet, and the machine
web seemed more preaching to the choir than useful.  The third chapter
tells us how to install the product, and finally, in chapter 4, we get
to actually using the product.

I've been patient up until now, but this is where I am expecting to find
the meat of the book.  They do start to get more into the product, but
they only stop to explain what they're doing pages after they've already
done it.  Just in time for you to have forgotten what they were talking
about anyway.  Their examples are self justifying, and don't branch from
their "Example Application".

Despite the fact that their book title actually uses the word
"Applications", it would probably have been better to just say,
"Application".  After finishing the first 11 chapters of this book,
I have a good idea how I would build one application using Cocoon,
and that is the example they gave.  To go any farther than that, I'd
have to buy another book, or do a great deal of additional research.
That's what I'm thinking I should have done in the first place.

The 12th chapter goes further into detail about what they want to do
with
their product in the future.  While I find this enlightening, and feel
that Cocoon may be something I'd like to take another look at in the
future, it doesn't help me with building XML applications.  A full 25%
of this book has nothing to do with building XML applications with
Cocoon.


Linux Server Hacks
Rob Flickenger
221 pages copyright 2003
O'Reilly
ISBN 0-596-00461-3

review by Ken Dyke

I was not expecting any review copies from O'Reilly when this one
arrived.  
It looked interesting so I started browsing through it.  Two months
later 
it is getting the worn look of a book that is used often.

One of the motivations I had for starting the BozemanLUG was so that
folks 
could get together and share tips and tricks that a person does not get 
from HOWTOs or books.  Well, this book is a collection of one hundred of
these useful kinds of hacks.  Useful is an understatement.  Admin'ing my
servers has gotten considerably easier each time I crack this book
open.  
If I were to lose this copy I would rush out and buy another directly.
Highly recommended for those responsible for server(s).


The Code Book
Simon Singh
410 pages copyright 1999
Anchor Books
ISBN 0-385-49532-3

review by Ken Dyke

I had seen this book on shelves but had always passed it by as I
associated it with such flaky books as secret codes from the Bible and
chariots of the gods.  I don't know why, I just did.  Luckily, David
Ford brought along a copy when he did his presentation in January.
Sheri expressed high interest in reading it so when I saw it in the
bookstore a few days later I bought it.  I am glad I did.

It is an easy and enjoyable read about the history and art of
cryptography.  The book begins with a story about how the breaking of 
the personal code of Mary Queen of the Scots cost her head, literally.

Through historical anecdotes, lots of background, and non-technical
explanations that are highly insightful none the less, the author leads
the reader in a behind the scenes tour of the secret art of crypto.

In a book full of highlights the two biggest for me was the real story
behind who did the groundbreaking work on cracking the German Enigma
and the development of the public key encryption protocol.  This book
is a fast and fun read.


||*-----           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 75 characters (to fit an 80 character wide screen).  Check out the 
fmt command.  I will use 'fmt -u foo.bar' to format files that do not 
fit an 80 character screen.  This will likely result in mangling of any 
layout you desire.  As noted in the Slashdot guideline, do not fear of 
making your review too long.  You have taken the time to read the book 
don't wimp out and write a too short a review that does not tell the
rest 
of us fully what you think of the book. 

The following books are available for review: 
www.osborne.com
www.oreilly.com/catalog/prdindex.html
New Riders Press
Addison Wesley
[ken_i_m:  If there is a publisher whose books you have enjoyed for 
their quality please let me know and I will try to work out an 
arrangment with them for obtaining review copies.]

||*-----                     EOF                           -----*|| 

I think, therefore, ken_i_m          |   /"\   ASCII Ribbon
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