Letters to the Editor

by Various
The Global Perspective

I'm glad to extend my subscription because Linux Journal is a very nice Linux-related magazine providing me with the global perspective of the Linux world which cannot be easily obtained by searching the Web, Usenet, and the like. I am always grateful for your efforts and hope LJ will continue to help me as it did in the past year of my subscription.Sohn, Jung-woo Aerospace Engineering Department Seoul National University, Korea. sylph@plaza.snu.ac.kr

Is Java a Threat?

First, I would like to thank everyone at SSC for publishing Linux Journal. I eagerly wait for it to arrive at my door each month. I have been using Linux for a few years now and currently develope applications and utilities for Linux using Motif and, more recently, Java.

The concern I have for Linux is the ever-growing use of Java as a programming language of choice. I am not saying using Java to deploy applications on Linux is a bad thing, and I am not putting down the Java programming language (I use it regularly, and enjoy it). It just takes away some of the developer support for Linux-specific applications, which Linux needs. If applications are written in Java and run on Linux or any other operating system for that matter are we just turning our beloved operating systems into another Sun JavaStation or Oracle NC? Running Java-based applications on Linux is fine, but is Linux then losing the free and commercial application base that it needs to bring Linux to the next step? The next step being broad-based commercial Linux applications, that could be purchased at your local computer store or out of a general PC magazine. As many of us know, having a high number of applications available for an operating system attracts more people to it.

On the other hand, Linux has been a Java trail-blazer. Linux can incorporate Java binary support into its kernel. Creating applications in Java has its upside—applications which have been developed on a Microsoft platform can be easily run on the Linux operating system. Because of this, Linux could become a major platform in small- and medium-sized businesses that need both a rock solid operating system to run their operation and to be able to run all of the big name brand software. The Java language could actually increase the Linux-installed base around the world. If users of other operating systems become tired of software upgrade costs, downloading bug fixes and paying huge per minute costs to telephone support companies, maybe Linux will become the logical decision. Stover Babcock stover@pit-stop.com

The history of personal computers seems to have many examples of systems clutched too tightly by their creators, missing out on opportunities to broaden appeal and usage. Making Linux Java-capable does not change the essential nature of Linux: free and open.

Multithreaded Programming Library

In my article on multithreaded programming [“What is Multi-Threading?”, Issue 34], I completely failed to mention where to obtain the library I make use of in the programs that go with the article. The library I use came from http://pauillac.inria.fr/~xleroy/linuxthreads and is very good, and less than 100K to download. Cheers, Martin McCarthy marty@ehabitat.demon.co.uk

Finding a Users' Group

I just received my first issue of Linux Journal in the mail today. I must say that it is refreshing to know that there is a journal dedicated to Linux.

I live and play in Biloxi, Mississippi, an area not often thought of in positive, humanistic ways. But time and imported people have brought this area from gloom to glimmer. Technology has finally arrived in the deep south, sparked from casual conversations on a campus computer system, to a full blown ISP using Linux, of course. My Linux box is connected to the Internet via their service. Okay, so we have technology here, and we have people to utilize it. I know there is a small and quiet group of people out there who use Linux also. The gist of this letter is I would like to form a Linux users' group here, so the quiet group can join together and spread the wealth of knowledge out there with each other. For only by becoming a community of friends and associates, can we continue to grow and nurture our Love for Linux.Thank You Ted F. Fox tfox@gooner.datasync.com

This is a good opportunity to mention GLUE—Groups of Linux Users Everywhere. SSC, publishers of Linux Journal have established GLUE to give users groups visibility, special deals on SSC products, and other services to help groups grow. See the home page (http://www.ssc.com/glue/) for details.

In Stores Now!

Greetings! I am writing in response to Cory Plock's letter to the Editor in the February 1997 issue of Linux Journal about not finding Linux distributions in stores.

I have been able to find Slackware and Red Hat in the major software stores in Houston for some time now, and I can even go into a few major book stores and not only find lots of books on Linux with their bundled distributions, but I have even found Red Hat 4.0 and Applixware on the shelf! I guess Linux has caught on earlier in some parts of the country than others. (At the first ever Houston Linux Users Group organizational meeting, we had over 150 people show up!) Don Harper Pencom Systems Incorporated duck@pencom.com

That's good news!

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