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Guido van Rossum, ACLs, and libldap

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 08/18/2003

Good day. This is the Linux newsletter, a weekly digest of the articles and opinions as recorded on Here's our news this week:

As per usual, Noel Davis brings our bimonthly Security Alerts to the forefront. If you're responsible for any machine you value, please go check that OpenSSH, xfstt, pam-pgsql, and the Hlaf-Life server are up to date, if you're using them. This newsletter will be here when you get back.

As long promised, we're very pleased to feature Steve Holden's Interview with Guido van Rossum. You might remember this soft-spoken man as the creator of the powerful and well-loved Python programming language. Steve guided Guido through subjects ranging from his cross-country move to computer programming for everyone to patents and legal battles against open source and free software. This is a great interview.

The Unix way of thinking (everything is a file; use many small tools; find a simple abstraction and use it consistently) has held strong for decades; however, sometimes a little expansion can make even harder things possible. Access Control Lists can be a good answer to more detailed file permissions, writes new author Daniel Harris in FreeBSD Access Control Lists. Though his specific example is FreeBSD 5.x, the same principles, as usual, apply across other Unixes.

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There are plenty of good tutorials on using LDAP. Where are the tutorials on using libldap? That question prompted author Rory Winston to demonstrate how to embed the LDAP client library in an application. Using libldap, the LDAP Client Library gives its examples in C, but the same principles, as usual, apply across other programming languages. Searching directories just got a little easier.

In our weblog world, Kevin Bedell suggests that MSBlaster could prompt people to switch to Linux. Andy Lester wonders why MS would claim that half of Windows crashes are the fault of other people. Your editor praises the declaration of XGD: Extreme Programming for Game Developers. Finally, Uche Ogbuji points to an excellent article on why indemnity doesn't matter.

That about wraps it up. Tune in next week for a look inside the world of ScummVM.

Until then,

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

  • Guido van Rossum Speaks
    Guido van Rossum, creator of Python, recently announced a move from PythonLabs to Elemental Security. Steve Holden caught up with Guido to talk about the move, the future of Python, and computer programming for everybody.

  • 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.

  • Slash'EM: The Sum of All NetHacks
    Any worthwhile Nethack variant eventually finds a home in Slash'EM. It's the proving ground for all sorts of new and unique ideas. Far more than just a conglomeration of patches, Slash'EM is a fresh game in its own right. On the twilight of a new release, Howard Wen examines how a classic is kept alive and fresh.

  • Slash'EM Interview
    Any worthwhile Nethack variant eventually finds a home in Slash'EM. Tracking those variants and the main Nethack sources is quite a job though. Howard Wen discusses the project with Warren Cheung and J. Ali Harlowe.

  • Postfix Attack
    Noel Davis looks at problems in Postfix, DB2, stunnel, OpenSSH, up2date, eroaster, wget, xfstt, xpcd, pam-pgsql, xtokkaetama, and Half-Life.

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