Letters

Readers sound off.

Worth the Wait

Starting with your first /etc/rant column, I have loved them. You are saying aloud what many in the community think, with a very loud voice. I wanted to ask you, why is this available only to subscribers? I'd love to make some comments on my blog and then link to your columns, or translate them to Spanish and let my friends read them in my blog. Tell me if this is feasible, please. I already commented on the /etc/rant of February 2006 issue and plan to do it on the April one I've just received, because I have lots of friends using GNOME just because they think it embodies the spirit of Free Software. Keep up the rant...er, the work.


Enrique Verdes

We do not publish in print and on the Web simultaneously, but we do publish our print content on the Web after a period of time expires. You can find archives of the magazine at the URL www.linuxjournal.com/xstatic/magazine/archives. —Ed.

Rant about Rant

Teams work very hard to release and offer their programming works of art. I doubt any of them wishes to bash each other's software. How about some constructive rants? The developers just might be inclined to offer a feature/fix that your “opinion” had a problem with. Or, heck, maybe you might even spawn a reader to contribute constructively instead of complain. Thanks for listening to my rant.


Ryan Ferguson

Content Must Be Free of Unwanted Influence

The position of editor in chief traditionally allows ultimate control of all aspects of a publication—from which letters will be included, to whether GNOME or KDE screenshots are used, to what articles are published and who is allowed to contribute. Perhaps LJ has a system of checks and balances in place that the casual reader doesn't know about, but from the cheap seats, I'm concerned. Not to sound alarmist, but a strong bias from the editor in chief is a contamination that can't possibly be quarantined only to the last page of a publication!


Matt McElheny

It is the job of an editor in chief to serve the magazine's readers, period. That means keeping the content separate from the influence of advertising and unaffected by the editor's own personal opinions. If at any point you believe the content reflects otherwise, I will take your complaints very seriously. —Ed.

On the Spirit of Open Source

Great rant [April 2006]. But, as I see it, the real problem is not about advocacy, it's about (never-ending) fragmentation. Big players (such as Oracle and Dell) are complaining about it, and no one seems to listen. The real problem is that a genius like Miguel is wasting his time with GTK or Mono (the C# equivalent of the GNU Java compiler), when he could do really useful stuff. It's a pity.


Dani

GCJ Deserves an Apology

I just got the latest LJ in the mail today. I wonder about the genesis of the “practically useless GCJ” remark in the etc/rant column [April 2006].

The version of Eclipse on my Debian Sid installation was built with GCJ, and it seems to run fine with no Sun JRE in sight. I thought Eclipse was a fairly large and complex project (although I have never tried to build it from scratch myself), so what does GCJ need to be able to do to get out of the “practically useless” category?

I also thought the limits of GCJ were due to limits of the GNU classpath, and that work on that was progressing nicely. Maybe I'm not following developments closely enough, though.


Jon

I'm the one not following the developments closely enough. Granted, it's not supported for Swing, but if you can compile the SWT-based Eclipse with GCJ, I owe it an apology. —Ed.

Even Einstein Agrees

So far, I just want say that I like the rants closing the new Linux Journal issues, although a blog of some kind might be a more appropriate place.

Still, you are echoing sentiments that I have expressed many times in the past. From the moment Miguel said, “UNIX sucks”, and started making Linux look like Windows, I've felt like I've been lost in some kind of terrible nightmare, unable to awaken. I love UNIX, and although it certainly needs help on the desktop from a development API standpoint, I'm not about to throw away everything about UNIX that makes it great. Please reference the late Mr Einstein's genius (I use the following quotation in my e-mail signature) for why UNIX is great, IMHO:

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex....It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”—Albert Einstein


Michael P. Soulier

LJ Is Way Too Practical

Please cancel my subscription, because the Linux Journal disappoints me thoroughly. It's too practical for this budding theoretical computer scientist.


William J. McEnaney Jr.

Size Does Matter

You now have a very inconvenient size and it ruins the display I have of Linux Journal. It doesn't fit on my lap in the men's reading room; it doesn't fit in most places while reading, except in your hands, and it is awkward there as well. I love Linux Journal; I hate the new size of the pages.


Pete Gandy

SSH Quibbles

In “Demons Seeking Dæmons—A Practical Approach to Hardening Your OpenSSH Configuration” [March 2006], Phil Moses mentions the UsersAllow directive, but it is really the AllowUsers directive (as Listing 2 shows). And UsersDeny is really DenyUsers.

The meaning of an entry such as user@hostname.domain is misleading. He seems to indicate that it allows access to user from hostname.domain, but it really means that people from hostname.domain can access user's account (according to O'Reilly's SSH book).


Byron Rendar

Ow, No OWFS?

In your recent article on temperature monitoring [see “Remote Temperature Monitoring with Linux” by Steven M. Lapinskas, LJ, April 2006], you didn't mention Paul Alfille's OWFS Project (owfs.sourceforge.net).

OWFS already has been ported to the Linksys WRT54G wireless router, providing a cheap and readily available hardware platform for monitoring projects like the one described in the article (owfs.sourceforge.net/WRT54G.html).


Steve

Xoops! A Security Hole

Juan Marcelo Rodriguez's XOOPS article [April 2006] tells us to set three directories so that any local user, including the Web server, can create and execute programs in them:

chmod 777 uploads cache templates_c

That's poor security practice. If XOOPS needs it, XOOPS needs a redesign. These wide open directories are just the place to install a 'bot for spamming or DoS attacks. It's begging for an Internet worm, if one doesn't exist already.

Mambo has similar issues. It seems the easier they make these complex Web apps to install, the less care they pay to securing those installations.


Cameron Spitzer

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