Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.

It has been pointed out to me that KHello no longer compiles correctly. This is because the KDE API has changed since the time my article “A First Look at KDE Programming” (August, 1998) and program were written. An updated version of the khello source code can now be found at http://www.chaos.umd.edu/~dsweet/KDE/KHello and in the tar file ftp://ftp.linuxjournal.com/pub/lj/listings/issue52/2653.tgz on the LJ FTP site.

—David Sweet dsweet@glue.umd.edu

UNIX Servers in a Notebook

I have thought about running Linux on an Intel notebook. As I began to look for notebooks which support Linux, I found a site that sells UNIX Server notebooks at http://www.tadpole.com/. They have both SPARC and Alpha notebooks. I was quite impressed. A SPARC20 model of the notebook supports Linux as well as an Alpha version.

Anyway, I thought your readers might like to know about this site. Maybe one day we will see a review of these notebooks in LJ.

—Robert Binzr binz@swconnect.net

If you get one, maybe you could do the review. —Editor

E-mail Address Correction

I just noticed that the article I wrote entitled “Linux Hits The Big Leagues” was printed with an incorrect e-mail address for me. The address should be altered to samw@wwa.com from samw@www.com. Thanks.

—Sam Williams samw@wwa.com

Red Hat 5.0

Simon Maurice's letter in the June Linux Journal leaves me speechless, so I have to type this response.

He accuses Red Hat of delivering a “truly bad release” and, as evidence, draws our attention to the errata list that includes listings of bugs for which no fix is yet available. Surely openness about what's fixed and what's not is at the heart of the Open Source movement. To go on and claim that Red Hat is behaving in a very Microsoft-like way defies both logic and the day-to-day experiences of system administrators around the world.

One could claim that Red Hat does not write the software containing these bugs, they merely package it, but in truth they do far more than that. Red Hat does a good job in maintaining their distribution and keeping it current. Their pioneering work with glibc (alongside the Debian project) is just one example of a benefit to the wider Linux community. If Mr. Maurice doesn't want to download a whole RPM file, he is welcome to download the source of any package and track patches from its maintainer. Nothing in the Red Hat distribution forces him to use RPMs—most users find them extremely convenient.

—Grant McLean sisl@ihug.co.nz

July 1998 Issue

I just finished reading the July issue, and I must say that it will most likely go on the shelf, never to be read by me again. I found no useful article in the entire issue. Don't get me wrong, I am all for Linux success stories, but most of the articles were so technically dry that I lost interest after a paragraph. I have been a subscriber since January 1998, and this is the first issue to achieve the title of “useless”. That being said, I love LJ and wish to see the ongoing improvement of both Linux and LJ. Thank you for hearing my whine.

—Griffin Caprio griffinc@ameritech.net

NIS Comments

I have a couple of comments on an article in the June 1998 issue: “Introducing the Network Information Service for Linux” by Preston Brown.

At the time of writing (February 1998), the latest version of Red Hat was 5.0, not 4.2, so the remark about an older version of ypserv in 4.2 has no value. What I do find a little odd is that 5.0 (released December '97) shipped the same version of ypserv, considering 1.2.5 had been out since mid-October. Currently, though, Red Hat 5.1 ships 1.3.1, which was (presumably, considering we now have 1.3.2) the latest one when they closed the distribution (June 1998).

The /contrib/hurricane directory contains software for Red Hat 5.0 (code name Hurricane, a glibc-based distribution) that can't be used (except in a few trivial cases) on libc5-based systems, such as Red Hat 4.2.

I'd like to know which features I missed by not having ypbind, but the article doesn't give this information; I can only say that all my programs worked flawlessly.

domainname was not invoked in Red Hat 4.2, but is present in Red Hat 5.0 (see the comment above on release dates).

—Andrea Borgia bab0069@iperbole.bologna.it