New tools and techniques for scripting in Linux

Scripting Secrets

Even the experts know there is always more to learn about scripting. In this month's cover story, we'll show you the Google Maps API, a networking framework for Python, and some other fine tools.

By Joe Casad

Scripting has always been easy in Linux. The design of the system promotes automation, and dozens of scripting tools are available for no cost through the always inventive Open Source community.

The art of scripting is nearly as old as the art of tinkering with computers. Most Linux users have at least some familiarity with some of the common scripting techniques. So why are we still covering scripting? Because this ancient art keeps changing, and even the experts know they need to change with it. In this month's issue, we focus on tools for scripting in Linux.

The lead article in our scripting set takes a tour of the amazing new Google Maps API, which lets you incorporate maps and satellite images into your websites. Google makes the Maps API available without charge to developers who agree to some fairly minor restrictions. We'll describe some of the things you can do with Google Maps, and we'll show you a sample Google Maps application.

Next we'll look at Twisted, a framework for creating network applications in Python. Twisted solves all the underlying problems of addressing the network, letting you concentrate on the critical details. The Twisted framework has modules for SSH, SFTP, HTTP, and NNTP, as well as POP3, IMAP, and other protocols.

We'll also tell you about Realbasic, a GUI-based development evironment that helps you run Visual Basic applications in Linux. We'll show you what features of Realbasic work in Linux, and we'll tell you why you may not be free of Windows when you're using Realbasic to convert existing code.

We'll end our study of scripting with a look at Bash perfomance tuning techniques that will help you get your scripts running faster.

This month's cover story is about new tools, tricks with old tools, extensions for familiar tools, and more great techniques for replacing Windows. Read on, and surely you'll discover something you need in this collection of scripting secrets.