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PHP Transactions, Futuristic Ruby, and Linux for Small Business Redux

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 12/22/2003

Hello and welcome to the penultimate Linux newsletter of 2003. As the O'Reilly Network prepares to go on a brief hiatus until 2004, we remain committed to bringing you the open source world as seen on Here's what happened this week:

Intrepid security reporter Noel Davis lead off this week with Linux Kernel Problems. A local exploit exists in Linux kernels earlier than 2.4.23 and 2.6.0-test6. As well, remote exploits affect rsync, Ebola, lftp, and irssi. Please check that your versions are safe.

Alexander Prohorenko concludes his two-part series on Using Linux as a Small Business Internet Gateway. This week, he explains how to install and configure DNS for your network, how to monitor network services, and how to keep everything running cleanly with your firewall rules. If you've been following along at home (or in your small business), you're now ready for bigger tasks, like setting up your own mail or web server. Congratulations!

On the PHP side of the house, new author Kimberlee Jensen contributes Pitfalls of Transactions with PHP. While on the surface, it looks like she's arguing against using transactions, she's actually promoting their proper use. That is, use transactions to enforce data integrity, and not for general application-level error handling. You might find great utility in her model, even if you're not a PHP programmer.

Programmer Mike Stok attended the Ruby Conference in November. This nice little language, still gaining traction in North America, has a bright future. Mike's conference summary, Ruby's Present and Future, explains the new ideas just taking off in the Ruby world--including projects such as FreeRIDE and Ruby 2.0.

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This week's new weblogs feature Rael Dornfest reporting that Ward Cunningham has taken a job with Microsoft, Tim O'Reilly applauding BusinessWeek's coverage of Amazon and eBay web services, your editor thinking about improving metaphors of software development, Bruce Epstein praising LoTR: RoTK, and Andy Lester criticizing Word's promotion of bad design techniques.

By the way, these newsletters are lovingly handcrafted in vim.

That's it for today. Next week, John Coggeshall returns, RouteWords are explained, and we look at 2003 in more detail.

See you then,

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

  1. Flying the Open Skies with FlightGear
    Realms of geographic data are entering public use every day. Mappers, hikers, and navigators love it. What's in it for the rest of us? Realistic flight simulators. That's what pilots, aeronautical engineers, and enthusiasts are building with FlightGear, a GPL'd flight sim. Howard Wen talks to the creator and the maintainers.

  2. Myths Open Source Developers Tell Ourselves
    Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but is it effective or useful? Open source developers have the opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of other projects. Are we learning the right lessons, though?

  3. Ruby's Present and Future
    Ruby's been around for ten years and continues to grow in popularity and usage. What's next for the language? That's just one of the questions answered at the 2003 Ruby Conference. Mike Stok was there. He covers all three days of the conference.

  4. Linux Kernel Problems
    Noel Davis looks at problems in the Linux kernel, rsync, cdwrite, 4inarow, CVS, Ebola, net-snmp, lftp, and irssi.

  5. Installing Oracle 9iR2 on Red Hat 9
    While Oracle's understandably proud of their Linux support, Oracle 9i is unsupported on the latest and greatest Red Hat. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that you'll have to do a little tinkering. Roko Roic demonstrates how to install Oracle 91R2 on Red Hat 9.

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