Letters to the Editor
I just finished another fine read—nice issue as always. One minor error I noticed though is on page 45, “Technical Considerations” by Richard Kent.
He says, “Within these toolkits are functions which have a variable number of arguments, much like the standard printf system call.”
Ah, and there's the rub—printf isn't a system call. It is a function from the standard library (section 3). System calls are, as you know, described in section 2.
I know this is minor, but students new to the C programming language have enough trouble with the documentation and how to read it without reference problems.
—Wayne Bjorken email@example.com
I have done years of FORTRAN, C and assembly programming on CPM, NS32000 and DOS systems, developing a system for operating laboratory equipment, and processing and displaying experimental data. After having seen so many platforms disappear, each time forcing a painful migration, I have just begun moving to Linux. The first issue I confronted, and resolved by making a semi-random choice, was selecting the distribution. There seems to be no guidance for newbies in this matter. After I got it installed, I started trying to learn how to program it. Here I ran into another obstacle. I have been spoiled by the packaged and documented software from Borland. Now I have to find tools for Linux and instructions for using them by looking in a huge collection of books and Internet sites. I find there is a horrendously steep and bewildering initial portion of the Linux learning curve, which could easily be a barrier to many people. Distributions need to address this if Linux is going to compete with MS Windows.
—Bill McConnaughey firstname.lastname@example.org
I read your interview with Charles Andres in the August, 1998 LJ with great interest.
I just want to add one point on your question about “How does Sun feel about the Open Source movement?” If Sun feels that it might be advantageous for their business to give the source code to everyone, they will do so. Proof of this statement: When Sun tried to start a “Motif vs. OpenLook” war, they freely gave away the source code of XView (which was one of the best X toolkits around). It didn't help them win that war, but in the Linux community XView can still be used (guess what I am looking at ...) for free. All this happened long before the issue hit the newsstands.
Same story with Netscape: if a company feels it can win something, it will open the source. Sun will do it again if they think it would be good for them, but they won't do it for political or philosophical reasons.
—Erwin Dieterich email@example.com
I have been reading Linux Journal for quite some time. It is a very informative magazine and I like it a lot.
However, I cannot help noticing one very bad thing: the portion of LJ occupied by advertisements has reached approximately one third of the entire magazine. It seems to be growing even further at the cost of actual content.
While it is clear to me that you earn good money from the advertisements, in the end you still need your subscribers. I am afraid you might lose at least one, if you continue your transformation from a journal into an advertising bulletin. I hope you will realize this before it is too late.
—Denis Havlik firstname.lastname@example.org
Actually, compared to other magazines, 30% advertising is low. We need at least this much to stay in business without raising subscription rates. Our November issue was at 35%. If advertising either stabilizes or increases, we will most likely expand the magazine by another 16 pages. It is also true that many readers find value in the ads—I even had one who said we should increase the number of ads —Editor
I am Guy Barrand from Linear Accelerator Laboratory (LAL) at Orsay (France).
In the article “Open Inventor” by Robert Hartley (September 1998), Mr. Hartley mentions the Apprentice project. I have looked at the Apprentice code, and a question has occurred to me.
How far can one go in re-implementing commercial software? In Apprentice, the API differs from that of Inventor only by the prefix “Ap” that replaces the Inventor “So”. A good use of the tr command (also documented in the same issue of LJ) could easily transform an Apprentice distribution to an Inventor one. Does the Apprentice developer have the right to use the “So” prefix?
In general, is it legal to reuse a commercial product API and to provide a free implementation of this product? I assume that the Linux community has looked at these problems for a long time. Can you enlighten me on these points?
—Guy Barrand email@example.com
Good question—I don't have the answer. Perhaps, one of our readers will know the legalities and let us know —Editor
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SourceClear Open
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide