LJ Archive


Readers sound off.

Xoops! Not a Security Hole

In response to Cameron Spitzer's letter [June 2006, “Xoops! A Security Hole”], Juan Marcelo Rodriguez may have forgotten to mention that Xoops needs the permissions of the uploads, cache and templates_c directories set to 777 just for the install. You can change them back! When you log in to the application for the first time, if they are still set to 777, the application will ask you to change them.


Trolling for Ranting Ranters

I like how the magazine has changed. I think it's exciting. It's like watching it grow (literally, too). The design upgrade brings it closer to the style of Network Computing, IT Architect or other glossy CMP periodicals I also read, and nicely not so “pagemaker crayola” as Wired looks. I think this look reaches out to those who would flip thru the magazine rack and pick up a Wired or PC Gamer. That must have provoked an argument or two, because that's also an editorial and policy change for the whole magazine. It hasn't lost the hard tech edge, though. If I ever want to read about how to write a device driver, I don't have to look very far.

Boy, this has been fun reading the Letters column. Look at all the people getting riled up about Nick's trolls! I thought I saw Nick sitting under a big bridge somewhere, waiting to point out the obvious with his thick finger, just to watch all the readers squirm. I think it's brilliant! (Who among us has not enjoyed reading through a trolling thread on Slashdot?) This makes the magazine not boring, and that will keep plenty of us around.

Mod me down for my casual comments but don't unsubscribe me. I think it's important that Nick point out the obvious issues in the Linux community. It's like big group therapy. “Uncle Nick” is going to make fun of distros that are lagging behind! Of course he appreciates how hard they all work, that's given. But he really doesn't want any distro to lag behind, because that doesn't do service to Linux as a whole.

Maybe if “Uncle Nick” points out some of these obvious things, we'll wake up and help out. Or maybe we'll listen to our own trolls and hear ourselves. When Linux Journal had the “nekkid piano player” cover, the Letters column was filled with the laments from the stuffed-shirts—that was fun! I see more of that, but now it's even more cogent to the discussion: by pointing out these obvious things in an opinionated way, he's poking us in the ribs to at least join in the conversation! (And maybe we'll become involved.)

Jed Reynolds

Simple Is Good

The “Google Maps” installment of Reuven Lerner's At the Forge column [June 2006] was simple enough to get lots of noobs excited—that's great! However, creating dynamically named variables like myMarker$count is bad style that I'd rather keep away from the kids. JavaScript has locally scoped variables, so there's no need for that kind of 1970s hackery.

Mike Schilli

Change Is Good Too

I can't even make it off page 10 of the July 2006 issue that I just got today. For the last several months, I have read for the most part how “concerned” or “upset” people are for the changes in LJ. And how they are going to quit subscribing to the magazine, unless things are turned back around again soon. Why is it that people are so afraid of change? Change is good folks, really, it is!

Anyways, I love the new dimensions of the magazine. I really enjoy the /etc/rants too. I find a good chuckle in them, and they're informative too. I also like the in-depth coverage, even though some readers may feel that it's a waste. I am sure that there are other readers that feel the same as I do. Kudos to LJ for making it fun to read again and get the feeling of a child again, waiting for Christmas day to come, when the new magazine is supposed to be coming in the mail any day now.

Ryan Chiles

Causes and Effects

In response to Doc Searls' “Causes and Effects” article [July 2006], I just wanted to say thanks. I really enjoy reading articles like this. Being a supporter of Net Neutrality, I feel that we need to get the word out more. We need to do what we can to make sure people are aware of proposals like Ted Stevens' Telecom bill because like most things, people aren't going to take notice until it is directly affecting them, and usually by then it is too late. Once the door is closed, it takes a lot for people to get that door opened back up.

Nick Baronian

What Is with the Pro-KDE Slant?

I don't understand this. Since that copy of LJ with the rant on KDE vs. GNOME [April 2006], I've been reading a lot of support for KDE in LJ (for the last two issues, no less), while scantly any for the GNOME side. I find Mr Soulier's “Even Einstein Agrees” [June 2006, Letters] rather cute, but I think he attempted to apply Einstein's quote backwards.

My school's labs all use KDE, and I'm almost tempted to configure .xsession or .xinitrc to use twm instead. I think the following analogy makes the most sense. KDE is like Gentoo, you could configure it to a very fine level of detail, but you can hardly do any work until you have tinkered with it. GNOME is like Ubuntu, you need only very little customization to make it work the way that you want and expect. Things in both Ubuntu and GNOME are well integrated. I'm not sure I'd use the same description for KDE or Gentoo. I'm thankful that Linus Torvalds started the Linux movement, but he couldn't be more wrong with the KDE vs. GNOME issue. And know more than enough people (many of whom are far smarter than I am, and from whom I seek advice and respect their opinions) in my Computing Science Student Society who couldn't think of a single good thing to say about KDE.

With such a severe lack of balance on this issue, sometimes I'm glad that I don't subscribe to LJ. I used to have more respect, when it did create dialog. Now it almost seems like discussion has degenerated to fan-boyism, and dissent is not tolerated.

Benton Lam

I fail to see any pro-KDE slant in Linux Journal content. Outside of those (including myself) who express their opinions one way or another, we take great pains to make sure our content reflects a neutral view. —Ed.

Damn Small Is Damn Good

Thank you very much for publishing the “USB Pendrives and Distributions for Them” article in LJ [June 2006]. I have toyed with DSL (Damn Small Linux) and even purchased one of their pendrives to contribute to their project. In the past, however, I wasn't able to follow through with creating my own pendrive, and Juan Marcelo Rodriguez's article came as a godsend. I downloaded DSL-N, which has the 2.6 kernel. Despite the fact that this project still has some bugs, I sense lots of potential in it and will try to help them by reporting bugs and testing. I felt very happy about making my own pendrive (I have some troubles with the wireless card but I haven't done enough research on the matter to be able to ask smart questions), and I look forward to testing other live distros.

Diego A. Acosta

Maddog's Compaq History Rears Its Head

I read, with not inconsiderable interest, parts of the article by Jon “maddog” Hall entitled “Sinking of the USS Proprietary”, Linux Journal, July 2006, wherein appeared: “USS Compact”. Well, now, I must really wonder if he instead meant “USS Compaq”. I just hope you can now concur! “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (ref.: John 8:32, KJV, 1611). Tempus fugit et ad augusta per angusta.

Joseph Roy D. North

For Shame

Shame on you for using proprietary software. Of all people, an old OS/2 veteran such as yourself should surely be aware of the fundamental evils of proprietary software.

Remember TrueSpectra Photo-Graphics? It was a wonderful OS/2 application that seamlessly combined raster and vector graphics. Where did it go? Down the proprietary rat hole. All the progress that TrueSpectra made in image processing has effectively vanished as if it had never existed. That is an unconscionable waste, and we are still waiting for someone to reinvent the wheel.

While I formerly tolerated proprietary software, experience has pushed me toward a different view. I now stand in full agreement with Hans Reiser, who says, “Equal Source Code Access Is A Civil Right”.

Carl Brown
Another old OS/2 veteran

New Life in LJ

After being a subscriber to Linux Journal from the very first issue, I must confess that the articles started to lose interest for me around the year 2000. I assumed the journal had, to use the TV metaphor, “jumped the shark”, given the popularity of everything with the word Linux at the time. It was almost simply out of loyalty that I have continued to resubscribe the last several years. That is, until about a few issues ago. Suddenly, the articles are much more relevant and useful. Whatever you have done, please keep it up!

M. Marlowe

LJ Archive