Readers sound off.

Letters

Ajax Overdose

First let me say that I love your magazine. I look forward to each issue and I enjoy almost every article...yes, even you Marcel.

My gripe is that your magazine focuses far too much on Ajax. Don't get me wrong. I love Ajax. I use it in my JSPs all the time. But come on! It's not a Linux technology, but yet it gets coverage in almost every issue of LJ since at least October 2006.

Let's take a look back:

  • October 2006: At the Forge—“JavaScript, Forms and Ajax”.

  • November 2006: At the Forge—“Beginning Ajax”; Feature—“Caller ID with Asterisk and Ajax”.

  • December 2006: At the Forge—“Ajax Application Design”.

  • January 2007: At the Forge—“Prototype” (Ajax); Indepth—“Ajax Timelines and the Semantic Web”.

  • February 2007: At the Forge—“Scriptaculous” (Ajax).

  • March 2007: A nice break from Ajax.

  • April 2007: At the Forge—“Dojo Events and Ajax”.

  • May 2007: Ajax everywhere!

Is Ajax really a subject that needs to be covered in every issue? This is still Linux Journal, not Ajax Journal, right? Aren't there other non-Web development topics that can be covered in At the Forge?


Marc

We'll do our best to cover different ground. However, Ajax is an extremely popular approach to providing users with a rich-client experience. Its platform-neutrality and the broad set of Linux tools available make it an excellent Linux topic.—Ed.

Ajax Appreciated

I just wanted to tell you your coverage of Ajax, Ruby and programming languages, hot topics in the industry, is just awesome. I am glad I bought a subscription from you guys. I am a Linux hobbist/Web developer/graduating senior from ASU Polytechnic and just wanted to let you know you are doing an awesome job.


Karol

Don't Just Beat Me, Teach Me

I've read your magazine off and on for years, and I even had a subscription a few years back—excellent magazine.

I'm writing because you have an old story from 1998, written by Jason Kroll. I read it a few times. I tried to contact Jason, but his e-mail has changed from the one you listed (that's no surprise, the article is nine years old).

Anyway, I would love to discover a good chess-playing program for Linux that teaches me how to improve, besides beating me at chess. All the games mentioned in the article are good. I have tried a few—gnuchess, crafty, etc. They will play a very strong game, and you can save games for study. But, this doesn't teach me the way a program like ChessMaster can teach people. ChessMaster runs only on Windows, and I don't want to struggle with Wine as a workaround. This is 2007, I am using the latest kernel on Kubuntu, and I'm really happy with my Linux experience. I would appreciate it if you or Jason could try to help me locate a ChessMaster equivalent for Linux.


Eddie Colon

Great idea. We'll put out a call for such an article and see if we can turn up an author who wants to tackle it.—Ed.

Ajax Examples Are Wrong

I have tried a number of examples from the May 2007 issue's articles and have discovered that all of the examples are flowed with the same bug. The problem can be narrowed down to these two lines in all examples.

From the magazine:

http.open("GET", url + escape(zipValue), true);
http.onreadystatechange = handleHttpResponse;

The right way:

http.onreadystatechange = handleHttpResponse;
http.open("GET", url + escape(zipValue), true);

The problem is if you make the call to open before a call-back function is defined, the response will end up in the great big void. After calling open, the script's control stops and control will first be gained again when open calls the call-back function with the response.

Apart from this, though a fundamental change, all scripts work as expected.

  • My OS: Debian Sid

  • Browser: $ dpkg -s iceweasel

  • Package: iceweasel

  • Status: install ok installed

  • Priority: optional

  • Section: web

  • Installed-Size: 26936

  • Maintainer: Eric Dorland (eric@debian.org)

  • Architecture: i386

  • Version: 2.0.0.3-2

PS. A little annoyance: I think it would be a good idea if the writers actually listed HTML that is able to validate:


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W#C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<!-- Doctype declaration are missing in some examples -->
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>AJAX Contactbook</title>
<!-- Declaration of charset is missing in all examples -->
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
charset=utf-8"/>

<!-- mixed notation for attributes in almost all examples: foo=2
bar="3" -->

Other than that, I think Linux Journal is a great magazine.


Michael Rasmussen

All of the examples I tried, myself, worked. But I'll take your word for it that they present problems in other environments. Thanks for the tips and suggestion.—Ed.

Network Computing Still Expensive

I am sending you this e-mail at great expense. No, not Great Expense, Arizona, great expense over dial-up. At the moment, I am in semi-rural Germany where +ADSL/Broadband has not yet reached. I suspect that the same goes for rural France, Holland, Spain and many other European countries. It certainly applies to England, where because of distance from the exchange coupled with poor quality (for data) cabling broadband has not reached. Even at my home location on the outskirts of a 300,000 population conurbation, the best speed on a good day is 1Mb.

So, whilst I think you are 100% right regarding network computing [see the May 2007 /var/opinion], until good reliable Internet access at realistic speeds becomes available, it is some way off.


Roy Read

Now You See Them

In the Letters section [April 2007], Chris Trayner mentioned in his response to you that under KDE he could no longer use certain features and concluded that these features had been removed from KDE. This conclusion is, fortunately, incorrect—the features he was looking for are still available.

I just checked in the KDE Control Centre (under recent Mandriva and Knoppix releases) and found the following options:

a) Alter Delete item on file context menu: go to the Components (or KDE Components) menu item, then File Manager, then the Behaviour tab, and see the check boxes in the second part of this panel.

b) Changing window titlebar double-click behaviour: go to the Desktop (or System) menu item, then Window Behaviour, then the Actions (or Titlebar Actions) tab. There you will see a drop-down box labeled Titlebar Double-click.

c) Moving maximised windows: go to the Desktop (or System) menu item, then Window Behaviour, then the Moving tab. There you will see a check box relating to this option.

d) Although not previously mentioned, one option I always use if the initial setup allows it is icon activation using a single mouse click (such as under Knoppix): go to the Peripherals menu item, then Mouse. The second part of this panel contains the options relating to icon activation.

Please note that the alternative names for various configuration items is because different distributions and release versions have used the various names as shown.

Perhaps the distro that Chris uses has changed various of its KDE feature defaults. Alternatively, it may have removed these features. If so, maybe Chris should consider changing distros.


Rob Strover

Correction to Piece about KRUU-FM

I'm one of the members of community radio KRUU-LP, which you wrote about in your May 2007 issue of Linux Journal [see Doc Searls' piece in the UpFront section]. I'd like to point out that we're actually Kruufm.com, and not Kruufm.org. Kruufm.com, the radio station, is not affiliated with Kruufm.org in any way at present.


Sundar Raman

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there are actually 2 versions

Anonymous's picture

I'm a windows user, i was just browsing and found 2 links to chessmaster linux products available on amazon.com,
chessmaster 6000:
http://www.amazon.com/Mindscape-112908-Chessmaster-6000/dp/B00002S85Q/re...

and chessmaster 4000:
http://www.amazon.com/SoftKey-CSS3844AE-Chessmaster-4000-Jewel/dp/B00002...

The site says they are compatible with unix, mac, linux and other windows os aswell. I haven't tried them. Its good cause I can now play them on my playstation 3.

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