Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.
Imagine1 URL

The URL for downloading the free Linux F compiler from Imagine1, Inc. was left out of my article, Portability and Power with the F Programming Language, published in the October issue of LJ. The correct URL is http://www.imagine1.com/imagine1/.

—David Epstein david@imagine1.com

Comment on your article

I'd like to comment on Mr. Hughes' article in the November issue of Linux Journal.

He offered four suggestions that would make Linux a better solution. Two of them were application programs or packages. I agree that creating new applications would be useful, but I'm also concerned with existing Unix freeware that has yet to be ported or compiled on Linux. There is a huge amount of this freeware available but getting it to build on a Linux box is something else again.

What is needed is a software porting project: a central site to collect information about porting specific applications to Linux. Information such as what changes are needed in the makefile, imakefile or prog.tmpl to get the program to compile. Additionally, information about the problems encountered in trying to compile the app would be very useful. This kind of information would help others who are trying to port applications to Linux. So, the site would be a learning resource as well, and this is perhaps most important.

As the knowledge and ability to port software to Linux increases, the number of applications ported will increase at a faster rate. The site wouldn't need to archive binaries or source code, just the specifics about how to compile and the problems encountered. In addition, it would be useful to include information on who's currently working on which application. This would allow communication between groups or individuals working on the same problem and prevent duplication of effort. More applications will make Linux a better solution, and the easiest way to get them is to port existing Unix freeware. A dedicated site would greatly facilitate the endeavor by effectively harnessing the knowledge and ability of the Linux community.

—George Timmons gwtim@2xtreme.net

vi, most used text editor

First of all, let me tell you how much I appreciate LJ, for the accuracy of the information it gives and the nice tone it uses.

I write you in reaction to the 1997 Readers' Choice Award that the text editor vi received in the December issue. I'm an old addict of this program, and I still find it fast and useful. But I have always promised myself that I would learn Emacs one of these days, thinking I couldn't remain an old dinosaur using such an old tool. The problem is that I always found Emacs far too complicated. So when I saw the Award, I was genuinely surprised so many people think like me and I had a good laugh.

In short, after reading LJ, I decided that, despite vi being an old and ugly editor, I'll keep using it without any remorse for being an Emacs loser.

—Pierre-Philippe Coupard coupard@mipnet.fr