Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.
Java Articles?

Why don't you ever have articles on Java in the WWWsmith section? It seems all you ever cover is Perl and CGI. Is WWWsmith supposed to be about web programming or web mastering? If it's supposed to be about web programming, I think Java topics are very important (probably more than Perl, CGI and SQL). I mean, which gets more press coverage?

—Jeff Warren jwarren@sun.science.wayne.edu

Perl and CGI seem to predominate because Reuven Lerner, the author of the “At the Forge” columns, likes to write about them. We have four Java articles promised to us by various authors that have not yet come in. We also have an article about Java and the kernel that will be published soon, and Java was the focus of the October, 1996 issue of LJ, so it is not a subject we have ignored.

Possible Improvement to Magazine

I was trying to find a local store that sells Linux distribution CD-ROMS. I ended up buying a book with Red Hat 4.1, Slackware and Caldera's Lite version from Barnes & Noble ($59.99 US—good deal, comparatively speaking). Many popular computer magazines package shareware or demo CD-ROMs with their magazines, so why couldn't Linux Journal print a special edition for newbies that would include a CD with a working distribution of Linux? If you released a quarterly edition for $10-$15 US, I would buy it just because I hate downloading updates. If you use my idea, send me a free subscription or something (assuming I'm not the 10,000th person to suggest this).

—Joshua Neal tinara@null.net

Well, you're certainly not the first to suggest it. It's on our list of “things we'd like to do sometime”.

XForms Article

I really appreciated the article “Programming with the XForms Library” [Thor Sigvaldason, July 1997]. I am looking forward to the next two segments of that series.

I am a Software Engineer with a day job developing exclusively for Windows 95 and NT. I am in the process of developing a large application in Java that will run on the NC, but that is the first project that I have worked on outside the realm of Microsoft platforms.

I have a personal interest in pursuing development in Linux. As far as I am concerned, you could dedicate 90% of the Journal to development and the other 10% to configuring the system. I realize that this probably doesn't line up with most of your readers' interests (and I am probably exaggerating a bit anyway), but I think there are a lot of Linux users, novice as well as experienced, who would appreciate seeing a little more space dedicated to development.

—Jeff Brown jbrown@fastrans.net

XForms Article

This is a response to an article by Thor Sigvaldason in Issue 39 of LJ, titled “Programming with the XForms Library”:

How can you encourage people to write programs using the XForms library? Since the sources aren't free, only a selected range of platforms are supported.

Furthermore, the most recent version of this library is (v0.81) available for Linux only in ELF format. What will those people do, who are using the a.out binary format for good reasons? Well, nothing, because the latest a.out library is v0.80j, which is incompatible with v0.81. And the authors of the XForms library aren't going to support the a.out format in the future.

In my opinion, this is contrary to the spirit of those who developed Linux initially. It was meant to be a free Unix system based on free tools and a free kernel. (With maybe one exception, Motif, which is an established standard for nearly every available platform.) XForms doesn't fulfill this criterion.

—Thomas Ott Labalutsch@aol.com