On the Web - The Language Battle

Whether you're looking to do something new with your old favorite language or to try a new one, visit the LJ Web site for ideas.

Some arguments never seem to lose their popularity. Perhaps the new rule should be never talk about religion, sex, politics or programming languages—but how boring would that be? The publication of “Interview with Bjarne Stroustrup”, the creator of C++ (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7099), on the Linux Journal Web site, set off another battle in the ongoing programming language flame war. In the interview, Stroustrup discusses some of the history behind C++ as well as its evolution. The comment section, however, turned into an argument on whether C++ is a bad language or whether programmers merely use it incorrectly.

One of Stroustrup's rather sensible observations is people should use the best language for the task at hand. So with that in mind, this month we offer a recap of some language-specific articles available on the LJ Web site. With the increasing popularity of LDAP servers, it's good to have several management options available. In “An Introduction to perl-ldap” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7086), Paul Dwerryhouse discusses how to use the Net::LDAP Perl module to “enable easy access to the data contained in LDAP directories from Perl scripts”. He then walks users through installing the module and demonstrates how to add, search for and modify entries.

If LDAP is your thing but Perl is not, check out “LDAP Programming in Python” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6988) where Ryan Kulla explains how to use the python-ldap package with its object-oriented client API to work with LDAP directories. Kulla's goal is to “get you ready to write your own programs to automate the querying process of LDAP servers”. His example program demonstrates some of the basics that you can extend and explore on your own.

Continuing with Python, in “Host-Hopping Scripts in Python” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6730), Mark Nielsen explains “how and why I used SSH, Python and Expect to transfer Weblogs to a central computer for processing”. A good example of using the right tools for the task, Mark's project also took advantage of tools already available on the network computers. The scripts included in the article show you exactly how he combined all the elements to gather together the systemwide Weblogs.

Not quite as volatile as the interview with Stroustrup, Aleksey Dolya's “Interview with Brian Kernighan” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7035) explores some of the history behind the AWK programming language. The two also discuss C, how UNIX got its name, the early days of Bell Labs and teaching the next generation of IT workers.

If your personal favorite languages aren't mentioned here, do a search for them on the LJ site. We also have articles about working with Ruby, Objective-C, Java and others. And, be sure to check the Linux Journal Web site often; new articles are added daily.

Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.

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