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Python editor Stephen Figgins returns to cover a timely Python project: BitTorrent. BitTorrent Style covers Bram Cohen's somewhat unconventional coding style, explaining how it allows Cohen to extend and maintain the code easily.
Along the same lines, to understand any open source project, you need to understand the philosophy of its developers. This is especially evident in projects with strong leaders, such as the Linux kernel, the Python programming language, and OpenBSD. Cameron Laird and George Peter Staplin get several OpenBSD core developers to open up in The Essence of OpenBSD.
Speaking of philosophy, some guy named Larry Wall gave a speech a couple of weeks ago. It's called State of the Onion. You'll find there the slides and the text as presented.
Though plain email is about as secure as a secret written on a postcard, widespread encryption hasn't yet taken off. Perhaps it's still too hard to use for the average Internet denizen. A new company is resurrecting an old concept to change this. Read more in an interview with Terence Spies on Identity-Based Encryption.
Finally, roving conference-goer Dustin Puryear made his way to USENIX's Annual Technical Conference a couple of weeks ago. What's hot in the realm of the professional system administrator? Samba—and Microsoft. Seriously. Read more in USENIX 2003.
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Here's one more reminder for a newly launched O'Reilly page, Focus on System Administration. It collects links to the articles, books, and columns we've published on system administration. We hope it will be a good resource for you.
That's all for this week. We'll be back at the same time next week with even more interesting information.
The Essence of OpenBSD
A thousand open source projects quietly produce excellent code under the radar. What goes on in these projects? How do new people join? What motivation is there? Cameron Laird and George Peter Staplin interview several core OpenBSD developers.
Kapor's Thoughts on Desktop Linux
Mitch Kapor examines what stands in the way of Linux as an end-user operating system. Daniel Steinberg reports on Kapor's keynote from OSCON 2003.
Video Playback and Encoding with MPlayer and MEncode
No consumer Linux box is complete without the ability to play digital video files. Until recently, this was difficult -- the codecs weren't freely available or distributable. MPlayer seeks to change this. KIVILCIM Hindistan introduces MPlayer and demonstrates some of its features.
The State of Open Source
Luminaries from the open source communities of Perl, Python, PHP, MySQL, Apache, and Linux each presented their take on the current state of their technology and where it is headed. Daniel Steinberg reports from OSCON 2003.
Noel Davis looks at problems in PHP, OpenLDAP, Xpdf, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Mozart, liece, OpenBSD's Packet Filter, unzip, Imagemagick, Ezbounce, semi, and wemi.
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