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C++ Memory Strategies, Accelerated SDL, and Making Ports Sing

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 08/11/2003

Hello! Welcome to the Linux newsletter, a weekly email summarizing what's new on the O'Reilly Network in the open source, free software, and Linux worlds. Here's the skinny:

One of FreeBSD's greatest strengths is its ports system, which allows you to install thousands of pieces of software almost painlessly. For ports to work, the system tracks lots of metadata about software packages, authors, and dependencies. True to form, all of this data is available to you, if you know the right commands. In Ports Tricks, FreeBSD columnist Dru Lavigne explores some of the useful and underused features of the ports tools.

C++ gives you a lot of power, if you're strong enough to take advantage of it. Nowhere is this more clear than in memory management. Higher level languages can make you more productive by hiding the details, but sometimes it's necessary to have absolute control. George Belotsky concludes his three-part series on C++ Memory Management by exploring strategies for successful and safe memory managment. Read more in C++ Memory Management: From Fear to Triumph, Part 3.

If there are to be more games, distractions, and multimedia applications on Linux, they'll likely come from cross-platform efforts. SDL, the cross-platform multimedia programming library (you saw that coming, didn't you?) is one part of that process. Bob Pendleton returns to SDL in Hardware Acceleration in SDL to expand on his earlier example. Learn how to detect and use hardware acceleration--if it's available--and why, sometimes, it may actually slow your applications.

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In our little world of weblogs, editor Andy Oram reports from the floor of the just-finished LinuxWorld in Linux Becomes a Commodity at LinuxWorld, .com Strategies and .org Forays at LinuxWorld, and Linux Planted in Many Furrows. Mitch Tulloch ruminates on the mixture of Technology and Language. Kevel Bedell points to a discussion of Open Source issues with Bruce Perens and Zak Welch.

That's all for this week. Though last week promised a snake charmer, your editor now realizes that he failed to read the calendar correctly. Yes, the long-awaited Guido van Rossum interview is scheduled for next week.

Until then,

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

  1. Ports Tricks
    One of FreeBSD's biggest benefits is its ports collection. You can go years without learning more than just make install clean, but there are dozens of features built into the ports tools. Dru Lavigne demonstrates several of these tricks to simplify your life.

  2. Five Lessons You Should Learn from Extreme Programming
    Extreme Programming (XP) is yet another popular idea gaining press. It adapts the best ideas from the past decades of software development. Whether or not you adopt XP, it's worth considering what XP teaches. chromatic, author of Extreme Programming Pocket Guide, offers five lessons you should learn from Extreme Programming.

  3. Advanced OOP: Declarative Programming and Mini-Languages
    While much of the "popular" programming world describes problems in terms of how to solve them, declarative programming describes problems in terms of what's known about them. David Mertz explores existing declarative languages and gives examples of declarative programming in Python.

  4. PHP Security, Part 1
    If you have users, you'll undoubtedly have bad guys trying to break things. As a PHP developer, it's your responsibility to make sure your code is secure. John Coggeshall demonstrates one common PHP error that can leave you vulnerable, and he explains how to think like a bad guy to prevent these mistakes in the first place.

  5. 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.

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