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PHP and GD, Python 2.3, Contact List Ubiquity, Secur-i-tee, and a Cute RPG

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 03/31/2003

Greetings. As you're probably well aware by now, this is the Linux newsletter, your guide to what's new in the world of Linux and open source development as graces the pages of (Someone asked your editor for a marketing blurb recently, so he's reused it as the newsletter introduction.) Here's what happened last week:

Noel David, intrepid explorer of mailing lists and itinerant patch-gatherer, wrote another Security Alerts column. Packages with potential remote exploits include Samba, MySQL, qpopper, DeleGate, ircii, and tcpdump. A new sendmail exploit came out after press time. Stay safe--check your systems and apply patches as necessary.

On a happier note, new contributor Marco Tabini entered the fray with Compiling and Enabling GD in PHP 4.3. GD is, of course, a popular library for creating graphics. It can be tricky to compile and install, especially if you want nice font support. Marco's done a very good job of describing the process and the potential pitfalls.

LDAP's managed to stay just under the tipping point of ubiquity. There are lots of good examples available online and several clients with good support, so why are there so few obvious examples? Dustin Puryear tackles this question in Building an Address Book with OpenLDAP. Instead of making everyone in your company keep a separate set of contact information, why not consolidate?

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As you'd expect from Howard Wen, simply describing a gaming project is not enough. He's interviewed Ben and Aaron Bishop, lead developers of Egoboo. Find out their thoughts on creating a new game and cross-platform portability in the Egoboo Developer Interview.

Finally, Alex Martelli, author of "Python in a Nutshell," takes a look at the new features of Python 2.3. Besides a nice speed boost, new library modules, and slice strides, how about improvements to built-in types like dicts? Read more in What's New in Python 2.3?.

If you're interested in the use of open source software within government, your editor recommends a cause near and dear to his heart: Oregon HB 2892, which recommends government agencies to consider open source software in future purchases. Watch for a weblog entry today or tomorrow and, perhaps, a longer write-up from this Thursday's hearing.

That's all for this week. Check those patches!

Until next time,

Technical Editor
O'Reilly Network and Linux DevCenter Top Five Articles Last Week

  1. What's New in Python 2.3?
    Will the forthcoming Python 2.3 invalidate what you learn from O'Reilly's recently released Python in a Nutshell? Is it worth upgrading to 2.3, or should you stick to 2.2 as long as possible? This article, by Alex Martelli, the author of Python in a Nutshell, answers these questions with a look at the changes and improvements in the new version, including reviews of the new modules 2.3 has to offer.

  2. Ten Security Checks for PHP, Part 1
    The same global access that makes web apps useful means that you have to keep on top of security. Though it's easy to create sites in PHP, it's not immune to sloppy coding. Clancy Malcolm explains how to recognize and fix five potential security holes with PHP in the first of two articles.

  3. Linux Kernel Root Hole
    Noel Davis looks at a root hole in the Linux kernel; buffer overflows in Samba, qpopper, ircii, Mutt, DeleGate, SuSE's lprold, and Ethereal; and problems in OpenSSL, MySQL, man, tcpdump, and Red Hat's rxvt.

  4. Building an Address Book with OpenLDAP
    LDAP's most sensible example is, perhaps, managing contacts throughout a company. There aren't many good examples of this, however. Dustin Puryear wants to change that. In this article, he demonstrates how to build and populate a company-wide LDAP address book.

  5. Checking System Integrity with tripwire
    In a secure system, everything has its place. If something's out of place, you'll know it. Dru Lavigne explains how tripwire, the file integrity utility, can monitor your system for anomalies.

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