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Open Source Flight and Questioning Some Open Source Development Practices

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 12/15/2003

Hello everyone. This is the Linux newsletter, a weekly guide to the new and interesting developments in open source as seen on Here are the freshest articles we could find:

What happens when you give NASA developers, GIS geeks, and aeronautical engineers some free time? You might end up with something a lot like FlightGear, an open source flight simulator. Though it's unfair to lump this in the same category as the latest FPS (real-world physics, map data, and planes give an edge of realism) it's hard to deny that these guys are having fun. Howard Wen explores the project in FlightGear.

On a slightly more controversial note, your editor contributes a piece entitled Myths Open Source Developers Tell Ourselves. One of the unsung benefits of open development is that it allows people to see how the sausage is made, so to speak. If you pay attention, you'll see some good decisions and some bad decisions. This article explores some of the ideas that might lead to making those bad decisions and attempts to offer better alternatives. The discussion so far has produced several good points.

This week's new weblogs feature Jason McIntosh discovering, Anton Chuvakin graphing worm lifetimes, William Grosso lamenting yet another web browser vulnerability, and Ethan Cerami praising Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt for comparing programming to gardening, not engineering. There are many other good weblogs this week.

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That's all for now. As the year winds down, we'll explore database transactions and Ruby in further detail. Also, watch for another installment of "A Day in the Life of #Apache".

Until then,

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

  1. Myths Open Source Developers Tell Ourselves
    Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but is it effective or useful? Open source developers have the opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of other projects. Are we learning the right lessons, though?

  2. Hiding Secrets with Steganography
    Bad guys in the movies all keep their wall safes hidden behind paintings. Is there a metaphor in there for your sensitive files? Dru Lavigne explores steganography, or hiding secret messages in images or sounds, with the outguess and steghideutilities.

  3. Flying the Open Skies with FlightGear
    Realms of geographic data are entering public use every day. Mappers, hikers, and navigators love it. What's in it for the rest of us? Realistic flight simulators. That's what pilots, aeronautical engineers, and enthusiasts are building with FlightGear, a GPL'd flight sim. Howard Wen talks to the creator and the maintainers.

  4. Installing Oracle 9iR2 on Red Hat 9
    While Oracle's understandably proud of their Linux support, Oracle 9i is unsupported on the latest and greatest Red Hat. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that you'll have to do a little tinkering. Roko Roic demonstrates how to install Oracle 91R2 on Red Hat 9.

  5. Using and Customizing Knoppix
    Several Linux distributions boot directly from CD-ROMs. How many are usable in that state? How many are customizable in that state? Klaus Knopper's Knoppix is perhaps the best known of these distributions. Robert Bernier explains how to use Knoppix and how to customize your own self-booting distribution CD.

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