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Sendmail Advice, Python's Twisted, PHP 5's SimpleXML, and Open Source Government Strategies

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 01/19/2004

Hello, readers. This is the Linux newsletter, a weekly romp through the world of (less-marketable) open source software development, administration, and use. As usual, we start with new articles on this week.

Speaking of administration (and awkward segues), if you've ever administered sendmail, you know that anything that simplifies the process is worth the money and time. Craig Hunt, author of the sendmail Cookbook starts off the week with Five Tips for a Better sendmail Configuration. Want to reduce your workload, improve your security, and simplify the lives of your users? Start here.

Speaking of simplicity, wouldn't it be nice if local governments could simplify the lives of their constituents? One approach is to adopt more open source software. What's preventing thousands of water control districts in the U.S., for example, from banding together to develop the appropriate monitoring software? Tom Adelstein interviews Andy Stein, CIO of Newport News, Virginia in Open Source in Government: Newport News, Virginia. (If you're in the New York area this week, head over to LinuxWorld Expo to learn more about open source in government!)

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On the programming side of the house, new author Itamar Shtull-Trauring provides An Introduction to the Twisted Networking Framework. Network programming has traditionally been complicated by the explosion of different protocols and event and notification schemes. Python's Twisted framework attempts to simplify that chaos, at least for Python developers. This is especially handy if you'd like to tie together multiple protocols (want to retrieve information from web pages and send it via email?). Twisted makes this possible — even easy.

Finally, "PHP Cookbook" author Adam Trachtenberg takes the first step toward exploring PHP 5 by describing SimpleXML, its simplified XML processing library. Using PHP 5's SimpleXML explains how SimpleXML avoids some drawbacks of DOM, SAX, and XSLT, and where it might not be appropriate. PHP 5 is coming. Be prepared.

This week's weblogs feature Bob DuCharme explaining how to link to almost any block element of almost any web page (an incredibly nice feature often missed), Alan Graham defending Apple and supercomputing, Rick Jelliffe lamenting that Unicode has too many characters, brian d foy asking Does Perl Have a Future?, and Micah Dubinko introducing the XForms Institute.

Next week's articles will discuss tuning LAMP sites, finding and fixing security holes with a custom web proxy, and using IPv6.

Until then,

Technical Editor
O'Reilly Network

  1. Open Source in Government: Newport News, Va.
    Open source software is often attractive to local governments due to cost savings, stability, security, and open access. Migration is still tricky though. Andy Stein, CIO of Newport News, Va., is tackling the problems of adopting open source. In this interview with Tom Adelstein, Andy explains why local governments should form an alliance to share their knowledge and their code.

  2. Linux Kernel Trouble
    Noel Davis looks at problems in the Linux kernel, Ethereal, Tethereal, INN, mpg321, vbox3, isakmpd, nd, phpGroupWare, and enq.

  3. Bacula: Cross-Platform Client-Server Backups
    Bacula may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of open source backup software. Dan Langille claims it's effective and useful, despite the odd name. He describes configuration and usage across multiple platforms and hardwares.

  4. MySQL Crash Course, Part 2
    Almost every serious web application uses a relational database to store its data. At some point, you'll have to learn how to use it. John Coggeshall explains how to change tables, select only the data you want, and delete rows from MySQL.

  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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