Readers sound off.
Slink Not Debian

I just finished reading your review of “Learning Debian GNU/Linux” at http://www2.linuxjournal.com/lj-issues/issue71/3821.html .

Having owned this book and spent a good deal of time conversing with both O'Reilly and VA Linux, I think you have made an error that deserves mentioning. You state near the end of your review, “A CD-ROM containing the Debian 2.1 distribution is bound into the book.” This is incorrect.

What is actually bound into the book is a copy of VA Linux's “slink and a half” modified version of the Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 distribution. This is not the Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 distribution, but a Frankenstein hybrid of the stable 2.1 (slink) distribution and the unstable 2.2 (potato) distribution. The new user may have some difficulty getting help with this hybrid, and VA Linux will not provide any support except to state that it is not Debian 2.1, and if you want support, you should purchase their boxed distribution. Please inform your readership of this state of affairs.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

—Richard Coleman richard_coleman@jws.com

Yet Another Linux University

I very much enjoyed the March issue of LJ. It was one of the best I had seen in months.

Since the focus of the issue was training, I would like to bring to your attention a project you may not be aware of: Linux University (http://www.linuxuniversity.org/). This is not the SGI training program of the same name, but a community-based effort to provide free Linux training to the free software community.

LU has been in existence for about two years, but has begun gaining momentum only in the last six months or so. The current course offerings are geared primarily toward developers, with classes in C and Perl, both of which have been taught in Nashville by members of NLUG. However, plans are in the works to offer classes entitled GTK+, Using the GIMP, Inside the Kernel, Linux Security Primer, Introduction to TCP/IP and Linux System Administration to the Web and Finding a User Group Near You.

The distinction of the project is that all training, whether it occurs in cyberspace or meatspace, is free of charge (although donations are welcome), classes are taught by members of the Linux community, content must be released under an open-source license, and it actively seeks to involve local Linux user groups.

If any of your readers would like to help, we encourage them to drop by the Linux University web site, check out what we have so far, and get their hands dirty filling in the holes. Thanks!

—Rob Huffstedtler rob@bagpipe.com

Mo or Les

Glen Wiley's Motif/Lesstif Application Development article in the August 1999 Linux Journal was a real standout, especially with the code downloadable from your web site. The article was packed with directly usable, accurate information.

The code was a model for any programmer who wants to set a high standard. The style and format was extremely readable. The comments struck a good balance between enough information and avoidance of excess.

I used this article as a guidebook to bring my limited Visual C++ and Visual Basic experience into my Linux proficiency. In two weeks, I was able to work through the program and get a respectable foothold in graphics programming in the most established and robust graphics platform in the UNIX/Linux world.

It is a very good guidebook that can accomplish that.

—Robert G. Young rgeyoung@a-znet.com

Better Late than Never

I am sorry this is late, however ....

I just want to tell you that I think your short article (“Red Hat buys Cygnus”) in the January 2000 issue is on the mark. I too share some of the same concerns.


Painting the Desktop

I was reading Michael Hammel's “Artist's Guide to the Desktop, Part 2” (and enjoyed it very much, by the way) and noticed the reference to GKrellM in the section on epplets. I appreciate his mentioning it, but would like to let you know that GKrellM is no more an epplet than is xmms or any other Gtk application.

Perhaps the source of his impression is that initially it became most widely used by Enlightenment users, but there are actually many KDE, AfterStep, Blackbox, etc. users. While I realize Mr. Hammel would probably not have mentioned GKrellM at all in your article had you understood this, I still want to nudge the record back to what my program actually is.

I have subscribed to Linux Journal for several years and have always found your columns very worthwhile. I hope you have many more articles to come.

—Bill Wilson, bill@gkrellm.net

Most probably. I enjoy working with them and have many ideas. Thanks for the kind words!

—Michael J. Hammel mjhammel@graphics-muse.org